Google's "Shoelace" Is Its Latest Foray into Social Media


After Google Plus failed to position Google among the top social-networking platforms, the company has introduced a new network platform Shoelace. It is now being tested exclusively in NY, but if it proves successful, a wider roll-out could be in the cards.

This social interaction platform differs from the standard social media platform, in that it allows you to meet like-minded people online, and encourages you to go on to develop real life friendships. Well, according to the website, "the whole premise of Shoelace is to tie people together based on their interests - like two laces on a shoe". Those are effectively crowd-managed so they're moderated and created by users themselves a la Google Plus and those who join in on communities are verified before joining.

It looks like Area 120 and Google are taking things pretty slow to take the pulse of users first and to manage expectations. Shoelace will be a highly localized platform that is meant to connect you to people that are close by.

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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. However, rather than trying to create a new all-encompassing social network like its rivals, Shoelace seems to have much more modest ambitions that take aim at Facebook's ubiquitous Events functionality. It can be accessed only by invitations and the people living in New York City for the time being. The Shoelace app, Android Police notes, is strikingly similar to another experimental event organizing app Google launched in 2011, Schemer. Many believed that Google launched it just to counter Facebook. I fired it up a few times to get a feel for the landscape when I moved to a new state a few years ago (shout out to the helpful folk who let me know where I could get crawfish in Tennessee).

Just think of all the fun you could be having.