Google Can't Quit Trying To Make New Social Networks

Joanna Estrada
July 12, 2019

Contradicting most expectations, Google has announced Shoelace, a social networking app that lets people connect using different activities. Unlike most social networks, the core idea behind Shoelace seems to be focused on meeting new people in person, not necessarily just online.

According to the app's official FAQ pages, "The whole premise of Shoelace is to tie people together based on their interests - like two laces on a shoe". You can create a listing for an event or activity you're participating in, and invite friends and strangers to join you.

It's now invite-only, and promises to help you "connect with others who have the same interests.".

This latest attempt at social networking comes out of Google's Area 120, an in-house incubator for experimental projects. "It's great for folks who have recently moved cities or who are looking to meet others who live nearby". It is now available only to 'select communities' in New York City, and users must have an active Google account to sign in.

As fun as it is poke Google for past failures in the social network space, amid growing concerns that time spent on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is having a negative impact on our lives, it's kind of refreshing to see a social network whose main objective is to encourage people to spend less time on said network and more time actually doing things. Area 120 is responsible for giving us the Smart Reply feature seen in apps such as Gmail. "We also work hard to make sure that everything you see in Shoelace - from profiles to Loops - is aligned with our House Rules and community standards". The app is now available on devices running Android 8.0 and newer or iOS 11 and newer, but you can only get a download link by requesting an invite (and subsequently being approved) through Google.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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