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Google Has Another Go at (Local) Social Networking

Google has taken several runs at social networking, most recently with the shuttered Google+. It appears to be making another go now with Shoelace, a local-social app. Right now it appears to only be operative in New York but Google plans to take it nationwide.

The pitch on the website — the app is invitation only now — revolves around three things:

  • Finding similar people or others with shared interests
  • Events and things to do
  • Organizing/planning get togethers or outings

It’s like a group dating app for Millennials and Gen Z. They should have called it “squad.”

Here’s the quasi-mission statement: “Shoelace is a mobile app that helps connect people with shared interests through in person activities. It’s great for folks who have recently moved cities or who are looking to meet others who live nearby.”

Google appears to still be trying to figure out what the right emphasis and hooks are. On its early access survey, the company asks:

The app was created by Google’s Area 120 “workshop for experimental products.” And even though this effort may well meet the same fate as Google’s earlier social networking initiatives, I’ll give the company plaudits for doing something new in local — where there’s virtually no consumer innovation happening right now.

What do you think of Shoelace’s prospects?

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