Google is giving social networking another try with Shoelace

Google Shoelace
Google Shoelace (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google is trying out a new hyperlocal social networking service called Shoelace.
  • Shoelace will be used to help you plan activities or events for your friends and meeting new people.
  • It is currently only available in New York City and requires an invite.

Google may have shut down Google+ back in April, but its new app Shoelace shows it hasn't given up on social networking. If you were hoping for a G+ replacement, then you'll be disappointed, Shoelace is a hyperlocal social network designed to help you meet up with people in real life for events.

With Shoelace, you can create a listing for an event or activity and invite friends or strangers to join in. It will also suggest events that you might be interested in joining.

Shoelace is launching first in New York City and available for both Android and iOS devices, but you're going to need an invite if you want to try it out.

This latest attempt at social networking comes out of Google's Area 120, an in-house incubator for experimental projects. Area 120 is responsible for giving us the Smart Reply feature seen in apps such as Gmail.

Could Shoelace be their next hit? Maybe, or maybe not, because this isn't the first time Google has attempted a hyperlocal event-based social network.

Back in 2011, it launched the short-lived Schemer. Much like Shoelace, it started out as invite-only and was used to help people meet up for live events and activities. In fact, it appears much of Schemer laid the groundwork for what is now being called Shoelace. However, the service never took off and it was shuttered in 2014.

Perhaps 2011 wasn't ready for hyperlocal social networking and 2019 is the right time to try. Only time will tell.

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Jason England