While nobody is about to deny Google's stature as a company, it has struggled to cultivate much success in the social network department. Still, it's not about to stop trying, as evidenced by its new attempt at the hyper-local social media platform, Shoelace.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
Google is a giant of company that’s good at a lot of things but it hasn’t had much luck with social networks, although it’s tried pretty hard. Google subsidiaries Orkut, Google Buzz, and Google+ have all bit the dust so far, as well as messaging services Allo and Google Wave. That hasn’t stopped the company from trying something else and that latest something is called Shoelace.
Shoelace is a social networking app that is hyper-local in that it wants to connect people based on specific events and shared in-person activities in the area where they live. Contrary to other social networks, it seems to encourage people to spend less time on their phones and go do something in real life instead. Right now the network is only available in New York City, presumably to see how it works out before rolling it out to other cities.
Everything in Shoelace is built around “Loops,” like the loops in a shoelace. These are listings of events that can be shared with others on the app. You don’t have to have any of your own events, and can connect to a number of event categories. The app learn then learn your preferences and begin suggesting new ones to you.
Shoelace is a mobile app now available for Android and iOS, but remember, only if you’re in New York City, at least for the time being. It’s available on an invite-only basis, although you can ask for an invite here. You do need an active Google account to get in the door, however.
The app was designed by Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental products. It’s been speculated that even if Shoelace doesn’t make it beyond the initial beta stage in NYC, some of its features may eventually be incorporated into Google Maps or even another future Google service.