It looks like the failure of Google’s social networks hasn’t yet demotivated it to come up with new ones. The track record of the tech giant in the social media sphere is marred by failures- there was Orkut Google Buzz, Google Spaces and Google+. Still, it wants to take another shot.
As spotted by Android Police, a team of Google employees that experiments with new concepts (called Area 120), launched a new hyper-local news service called Shoelace that also doubles up as a social network of sorts.
Shoelace has been described as an app that “helps connect people with shared interests through in-person activities”. 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. We do so through activities, which are fittingly called ‘Loops’ … Every day we find interesting things happening around you, from festivals to fashion shows, so you don’t have to. Feeling inspired? You can also create your own activities and add them to the map.
At the moment, Shoelace is available only as a mobile app on Android (v.8.0 or newer) and iOS (v11.0 or higher) devices, but is only being offered to select users in the US on an invite-only basis. It is currently available only to ‘select communities’ in New York City, and users must have an active Google account to sign in.
Google says it plans to eventually bring Shoelace to cities around the US, however, there seems to be no immediate thoughts of launching the service internationally. According to the company:
While our goal is to bring Shoelace to cities nationwide, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on New York City at first. This will help us determine what works and what doesn’t as we work to make the app available to more people.