A lot of exciting changes have been taking place in OurHood over the last several months. From its soft-launch in May 2014, OurHood has come a long way, now connecting over 1,300 neighbourhoods across the country. With such positive feedback and encouraging growth rates, it is our priority to ensure that we continue to deliver our users with the best product and experience possible.
We are proud to say that we have landed Lightswitch Solutions, a leading software development house, as our new equity partner. Having such an outstanding partner onboard will help provide us with the technical expertise needed to deliver a high quality, trustworthy and slick product to our growing user-base. Already they have delivered by stabilising our web platform for a mass audience and building our new and improved ios and Android apps (available on Google Play and AppStore).
New features include notification settings to subscribe and unsubscribe from categories, and direct messaging, so that neighbourhoods no longer have to rely on WhatsApp for immediate communication. Whilst WhatsApp is a great product for communication, it has not been specifically designed for neighbourhood communication. With WhatsApp and other similar instant messaging platforms, you cannot choose what and what you are not notified about. In contrast, with the new notification settings, the OurHood app allows you to tailor your experience so you only receive push notifications on information relevant to you. Other benefits of using OurHood include:
- All users are verified – you can trust you are talking to real neighbours
- You can decline group chats
- Your number remains anonymous
- All information is hyper local and specific to your neighbourhood
Another exciting update is that we have welcomed Dave Bonellie into our team as our new Managing Director. Since joining, both our user-base and the number of neighbourhoods using our App has increased greatly, complemented by a rise in our partner relationships. One development which we are particularly eager to share with you, is the company creating a fully automated business platform for local businesses. Businesses will be able to use this stage to provide deals for residents, thereby fostering local support. Such a project is exactly what OurHood represents. We aim to link the digital and the physical world in order to better connect neighbours whilst strengthening communities – and supporting local businesses falls straight into this philosophy.
‘OurHood is part of the next evolution of social media where the balance of connection and trust is actively managed to ensure users have the freedom to create better connected and safer neighbourhoods they want to live in.’ – Dave Bonellie, OurHood MD
We our currently working on our next update which will be released next month. It is our mission to make our software as user-friendly as possible, so for that reason the update will include features based off the back of feedback from our users.
After being approached by several African cities, we are engaged in advanced conversations to expand OurHood beyond the borders of South Africa. Whilst we cannot yet disclose which countries we are talking to, watch this space to find out more.