Nextdoor Creates Community at Scale with Stream Chat

Emily R.
Emily R.
Published May 23, 2024

Challenge: Nextdoor faced the challenge of maintaining an in-house chat solution that was resource-intensive and lacked desired features. This posed a significant obstacle to fostering user engagement and community interaction, necessitating a more efficient and scalable messaging platform.

Strategy: Nextdoor adopted a proactive approach to identify and integrate a suitable messaging solution. Through a one-day workshop with guidance from Stream experts, they swiftly evaluated Stream Chat's capabilities and initiated the integration process, leveraging Stream's comprehensive documentation and efficient API.

Result: By integrating Stream Chat, Nextdoor achieved a more robust messaging experience at 50% of the cost compared to their previous in-house solution. The streamlined development process and advanced features of Stream Chat enabled Nextdoor to address user demands effectively, driving increased engagement and satisfaction within the online community.

Nextdoor, a leading online community platform connecting neighbors, recognized the critical role of messaging in fostering community engagement. However, their in-house chat solution posed significant challenges, requiring extensive maintenance and lacking key features desired by users. With escalating costs and diminishing user satisfaction, Nextdoor embarked on a journey to revamp its messaging infrastructure.

Identifying a Solution: Stream Chat Integration

In search of a more efficient and scalable social messaging solution, Nextdoor explored various alternatives and encountered Stream Chat. Intrigued by Stream's reputation and comprehensive documentation, Nextdoor's engineering team embarked on a rapid evaluation process. They were impressed by the platform's capabilities and decided to proceed with integration.

Execution: From Concept to Reality

Nextdoor initiated the integration process with a one-day workshop, collaborating closely with Stream's experts to build a prototype. With guidance from Stream, Nextdoor's development team swiftly translated concepts into tangible solutions, laying the groundwork for the project's success. The production solution required partial time from four developers, each assigned to optimize the chat experience for different platforms (iOS, Android, React) alongside a dedicated UX designer.

Global Deployment: Scaling for Success

Recognizing the diverse needs of their global user base spanning 80 million users worldwide, Nextdoor strategically deployed dedicated chat stacks across multiple regions. This approach ensured optimal performance and responsiveness, catering to the unique requirements of users in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States.

Outcomes: Driving Engagement and Efficiency

The integration of Stream Chat yielded transformative outcomes for Nextdoor. Firstly, they achieved a more robust chat experience at 50% of the cost compared to their previous in-house solution. Leveraging Stream's advanced features, Nextdoor addressed user demands for enhanced messaging functionality efficiently. Moreover, the elevated chat experience facilitated increased user engagement, fostering a more vibrant online community.

Insights from Nextdoor's Leadership

Nextdoor's co-founder, Nirav Tolia, underscored the importance of intentional standards and adjudication mechanisms in maintaining a healthy online environment at Stream's Engage & Elevate event in April 2024. He emphasized the need for nuanced approaches to content moderation, leveraging AI to address conflicts effectively. Additionally, Tolia highlighted the value of prioritizing high-quality content to mitigate the impact of harmful interactions and sustain long-term community growth.

Engineering Lead's Perspective: Streamlining Development

At the same event, Felix Pageau, Nextdoor's Engineering Lead, shared insights into the seamless integration process facilitated by Stream Chat. He emphasized Stream's comprehensive documentation and efficient API, which enabled Nextdoor's team to expedite development and focus on core projects. The Nextdoor team also highlighted the importance of balancing short-term engagement metrics with long-term retention goals, ensuring sustainable growth and user satisfaction.

A Partnership for Longterm Success

Nextdoor's integration of Stream Chat exemplifies the transformative power of strategic partnerships and innovative solutions. By leveraging Stream's advanced messaging capabilities, Nextdoor successfully optimized its chat functionality, increasing user interaction and satisfaction. This case study demonstrates the value of proactive adaptation and collaboration in fostering community engagement and sustainable growth in the online space.

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