The new project of Google's internal incubator, Area 120, aims to help Internet users find activities and share the same interests as others. Through a new application called Shoelace – a name designed to make you think about linking elements – users can browse a series of handpicked activities or add their own activities to a map. For example, a person wishing to get in touch with other dog owners can start an activity for a dog break at the park, then start a group discussion to coordinate details and make new friends.
The end result looks a bit like a mix of events on Facebook with a group discussion on WhatsApp, perhaps. But it is part of a sleek and modern design that is more appealing to users of the millennium or generation Z.
Like Meetup and others in space, Shoelace does not aim to create another social networking application, but rather to leverage a social application to create real-world connections.
This is not a new idea. In fact, many startups have repeatedly tried to create an alternative to Facebook by offering tools to connect users around sites or shared interests, instead of just recreating established user networks of friends. online. And many cities now have their own social clubs designed to help people make new friends and participate in fun and local activities.
Shoelace is still in the invitational test phase and is only available in New York for the moment.
However, its website indicates that the long-term goal is to bring the application into the cities of the country once the team has learned what is working and what is not working . There is also a form that will allow you to ask Shoelace in your own community.
Google had a turbulent history of social networking products. Its biggest effort to date, Google+, finally ended its consumer activities in April. That said, Shoelace is not really a "Google" product. It is a project built by Googlers as part of the Area 120 Incubator, where employees can experience new ideas full time without having to leave the company.
"One of the many projects we're working on in Area 120 is Shoelace, an app that lets people meet people with similar interests through organized activities," said a Google spokesperson. at TechCrunch. "Like other projects in Area 120, it's a first experience, so there are not many details to share at the moment," they said.
The application is live on Google Play and iOS (TestFlight) for those who have received an invitation.