Shoelace app
  • Google is making another go at a social network.
  • Named Shoelace, the app aims to be a hyperlocal social network for people looking to connect with others (in real life) at events and nearby activities. It sounds a little bit like Nextdoor, the local social network.
  • "The whole premise of Shoelace is to tie people together based on their interests - like two laces on a shoe," the team says.
  • For now, the Android and iOS versions are invite-only and for now available only in the US - in New York, specifically. 
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

After shutting down Google+ in April, Google is making another go at a social network.

Named Shoelace, the app aims to be a hyperlocal social network for people looking to connect with others (in real life) at events and nearby activities. On its website, the team says, "the whole premise of Shoelace is to tie people together based on their interests - like two laces on a shoe."

These events - fittingly referred to as "loops" within the app - might include things like playing ping pong at a local bar or watching comedy at an open mic night. The idea seems somewhat like Meetup - get people together who share in common interests and maybe walk away with a new friend, or two.

In fact, on its site, the Shoelace team says the app is great for people who have recently moved to a new city or for those looking to meet people who live nearby, which also makes it seem a little bit like local social networks like Nextdoor.

Shoelace is a product of Google's internal startup incubator, known as Area 120. For now, the Android and iOS versions are invite-only within "select communities" and available only in New York City.

A Google spokesperson told Business Insider on Thursday: "One of the many projects that we're working on within Area 120 is Shoelace, an app that helps people meet others with similar interests in person through curated activities. Like other projects within Area 120, it's an early experiment so there aren't many details to share right now."

The tech giant hasn't necessarily had the strongest track record when building social networks (Orkut, Google Buzz, and Google+ are all defunct), but with Shoelace, the intentions, at least, seem promising. Getting more people to interact with one another offline has become less common in a sea of other social networks. 

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