An app designed to connect you with your neighbors is making a push to sign up more and more people in our area, but the methods are raising some red flags.
7News looked into what you should know about the Nextdoor app.
Spartanburg homeowner Richard Klopfenstein says his friend got a mailing asking her to join the “free private online network.” He’s skeptical about anything that claims to be free.
“I said Joanne, don’t mess with that because, to me, it’s a scam,” said Klopfenstein.
Then, when he got his own mailing the next day, and saw the “code that expires in seven days,” and the name of a neighbor he doesn’t know inviting him to join, he called 7News.
“There was no Foster even listed on Schirra Ct, so I right way thought, this is a scam,” Klopfenstein said.
7News reached out to Nextdoor, which did verify the mailing is legit, and that Klopfenstein’s neighbor is listed in their system. But Nextdoor also admits the code doesn’t expire in seven days. It’s a “standard technique to encourage members to sign up,” a company spokewoman said.
And many who do join like, like Sharon Belton who also lives in Klopfenstein’s same subdivision, don’t mind the sponsored posts that help make the service free to use, and love the neighborly connection.
“You don’t really know them like you’d like to, but this is a way to kind of get to know them a little bit better,” said Belton.
Users may not realize that you have to follow the rules. Nextdoor can kick you off if you make neighbors feel uncomfortable by ranting, over posting or bringing up controversial subjects.
And while you do have to give private information, Nextdoor says it does not use, store or share that information.
Klopfenstein is relieved to hear it’s not a scam, but is not planning on joining anytime soon.
“I’m skeptical, even at this point I still wouldn’t go on there and give them any information,” said Klopfenstein.
More of your questions answered:
How does Nextdoor make money?
Nextdoor is currently making money via Sponsored Posts and our Real Estate platform. We are also fortunate to receive funding from prominent venture capital firms including Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tiger Global Management and others.
How do you start a new Nextdoor neighborhood?
Nextdoor is in over 90% of all US neighborhoods. Nextdoor neighborhoods are established by the first member of the website, the Founding Member. The Founding Member has the ability to define the neighborhood boundary and choose the neighborhood name. When a Nextdoor neighborhood website is first created, the neighborhood is given “pilot” status. The neighborhood remains in pilot status until 10 members have joined and verified their address, at which point the Nextdoor website “launches” and becomes a permanent Nextdoor neighborhood. The standard pilot period for a neighborhood is 21 days. If the pilot neighborhood has not launched with 10 verified members within the 21 day pilot period (and the pilot period has not been extended), the neighborhood will expires. You can learn more about this process here.
This Help article walks through privacy on Nextdoor, and explains what steps neighbors can take to adjust their privacy settings.