Google Can't Quit Trying to Make New Social Networks

Google’s taking another crack at building a social network

Google’s taking another crack at building a social network

Google might not have succeeded in building a successful social networking platform inspite of several attempts, but that isn't apparently stopping the company from giving it one more shot anyway. In short, Shoelace looks like a social network that encourages people to spend less time on their phones, and more time doing something, anything in real life.

A lot of people organize events using Facebook, so it's definitely a worthwhile niche to chase after.

With Shoelace, you can create a listing for an event or activity and invite friends or strangers to join in.

Described by Google as an app that "helps connect people with shared interests through in-person activities", 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 United States on an invite-only basis.

Conversely, if you don't have any of your own events to suggest, users can designate their interest in a variety of categories, which Shoelace will use to recommend a number of "hand-picked" activities the app thinks you might like, so you won't have any excuse for saying there's nothing fun to do ever again. The app was created by Area 120, a team within Google that handles the development of experimental projects. "This will help us determine what works and what doesn't as we work to make the app available to more people".

Google may have shut down Google+ back in April, but its new app Shoelace shows it hasn't given up on social networking.

Unfortunately, Shoelace is now only available in one place, New York City, though Google says its goal is to bring Shoelace to more places in the future.

Of course, with any app where the goal is to facilitate in-person meetups, safety is going to be a concern, and Area 120 says that numerous communities active on Shoelace require verification when users join. And even if you do live in or near NYC, access to Shoelace is invite-only for now. 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.

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