Nextdoor’s rocky road to going public

ANASTASIA ZYG


Nextdoor is a local social media app that acts as a digital public message board for neighborhoods where users can sell furniture, organize events and alert neighbors of danger.

In the past year, monthly active users on Nextdoor grew 20 percent, according to Sensor Tower. It’s provided neighbors and public agencies a platform to spread useful and important information during the pandemic.

But the app, along with crime-focused apps like Citizen and Amazon Ring’s Neighbors, has been scrutinized for years for not doing enough to curb the racism prevalent on the platform.

Unlike Citizen and Neighbors, Nextdoor is more than a crime-fighting app. It helps small businesses connect to their local customers and gain new customers with free business postings. Local news outlets, which have been dwindling for years, have used the platform to reach a larger local audience with articles that are relevant to their community. But its reputation as a public safety tool has drawn criticism.

As Nextdoor works its way toward possibly going public, investors and community members alike are asking Nextdoor to do more to clean up the racism on its platform so that the good parts can shine through.



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