Google has never made a successful social network, but you have to give the company some credit for never giving up.
After the shutdown of platforms like Orkut, Google Buzz, and Google+ (and the shuttering of messaging services like Allo and Google Wave) it appears that Google is testing out yet another social network, this one called Shoelace.
Developed by Google’s experimental Area 120 product development workshop, Shoelace is a hyper-local social networking app (available on Android and iOS) that aims to connect people based on shared interests in specific events and in-person activities.
In short, Shoelace looks like a social network that encourages people to spend less time on their phones, and more time doing something, anything in real life.
With Shoelace, users are able to create “Loops”—like the loops on a shoelace, get it?—which are essentially listings for events that can be shared with others on the app, with the side goal of possibly helping people make a new friend or two.
Conversely, if you don’t have any of your own events to suggest, users can designate their interest in a variety of categories, which Shoelace will use to recommend a number of “hand-picked” activities the app thinks you might like, so you won’t have any excuse for saying there’s nothing fun to do ever again.