Nebenan.de
16/05/2024

The power of neighbourhoods

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Every fourth person in Germany feels very lonely. This means that loneliness remains one of the biggest social problems of our time. This is exactly where the neighbourhood platform Nebenan.de, which has been part of Burda since 2020, helps: it facilitates contact with people in the immediate vicinity. It thus helps to reduce loneliness in the long term. This is shown in the latest impact report. 

Loneliness is not just a personal fate, but a problem for society as a whole: it is bad for your health (comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being overweight) and bad for the democratic core, because lonely people are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, for example. What can help? Contact with people who live nearby.  

Germany's leading neighbourhood platform Nebenan.de brings real people together in over 10,000 active neighbourhoods – not anonymously and globally like many other social networks. “With Nebenan.de, we create digital access to real encounters – we help people to meet and say hello more often in real life," explains Philipp Witzmann, CEO of Nebenan.de. 

Young people in particular feel lonely  

The latest impact report* shows that Nebenan.de can significantly reduce loneliness. Among users who regularly use the platform, 23% feel less lonely and isolated compared to new users. The interesting thing is that loneliness is not just a problem for older people. On the contrary, 25- to 34-year-olds feel almost twice as lonely as the average. The effect of Nebenan.de is particularly strong here. Compared to new users, 33% of regular Nebenan.de users in this age group feel less lonely.  

“Loneliness is often associated with older people, but younger people feel particularly lonely. Our goal is to inspire many more young people to use Nebenan.de to find new contacts in their neighbourhood,” says Witzmann. 

Burda supports social cohesion  

Burda also believes in the importance of active neighbourhoods and is convinced that Nebenan.de offers people in Germany exactly what they need most: Cohesion and the opportunity to be there for each other. Just six months after Nebenan.de was founded in July 2016, Burda invested in the social enterprise and has since supported it not only financially, but also with expertise from the entire Burda platform.  

Together with Burda's magazine Freundin, for example, it runs the "Friends without filters" campaign, which helps people find real friends. More than 320 neighbours have already taken part and published friendship ads on the platform. The news platform Focus Online works closely with Nebenan.de to tell impressive stories from neighbourhoods. The BCN Brand Community Network also creates attractive cross-channel marketing environments for advertisers. 

Changing society for the better  

Since August 2020, Burda has held a majority stake in Nebenan.de, the largest neighbourhood platform in the German-speaking world with around 3 million users in 10,000 active neighbourhoods. What's next? “Our vision is to make the reach of our platform available to all key players in the health and social sectors so that we can join forces in the fight against loneliness and achieve much more in this area," explains Witzmann. The aim is also to achieve particularly strong user growth this year. “We are optimistic that we can achieve this with the support of the entire Burda network!”             

* Since 2019, Nebenan.de has been measuring the social impact of the neighbourhood network. The founding team and management want to make the social impact of digital local networking measurable and comparable, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The results of the impact report are based on the analysis of two nationwide surveys: A survey of newly registered users and, for comparison, a second survey of users who have been regularly active on Nebenan.de for more than 4 months. A total of 12,000 people took part in the surveys. 

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