Google’s experimental team, Area 120, has launched a new app that looks a lot like a social media network. The app, dubbed Shoelace, offers hand-picked activities to do with people of similar interests – at least according to the marketing material.
Shoelace comes hot on the heels after Google+ shut down back in April. Google hasn’t had any luck with social media, seeing that every attempt they make fails to take off. This poor trend has also been seen with their messaging apps that saw the likes of Hangouts shut down unceremoniously.
With this new platform, it looks like Google is taking a new approach. Shoelace is basically an app that will help users discover and plan activities to do in their area. For a brief moment, it looks like a Tinder app for activities since the app is meant to match users based on their active interests.
Shoelace is currently an invite-only app, a move that is meant to limit the number of people who have access to it. It is also only available in New York, with only a few people targetted in the initial stage.
In the past, Google’s Area 120 experiments have made it to actual consumer products (Google’s podcast app) while others have been baked in into Android as features such as the smart reply on Android messages.
As much as Shoelace is not exactly your traditional social media app, it says a lot about Google and its resilience in trying to build apps and services that connect the social aspect of human beings – maybe this will be the one to finally catch on, maybe.