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Google's Area 120 launches Keen, a Pinterest competitor

Keen Inline 1.max 1000x
Keen Inline 1.max 1000x (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google's Area 120 just released a new social app called Keen
  • The app is similar in concept to Pinterest.
  • It's available now for Android on Google Play and the web.

Apparently, Google is a glutton for punishment, as today it announced on its blog the creation of a new social network called Keen. Created by Google's Area 120, a workshop for experimental projects, and PAIR, a group at Google focused on People and AI Research, Keen looks to be similar in concept and scope to Pinterest.

Keen is not only the name of the app; it also is what Google is calling the equivalent of Pinterest's boards. The app allows you to curate these Keens to collect articles, photos, and other resources around topics that you are interested in, and to share them with those relevant to you. Users can decide if they want their Keens to be public or private. Where the machine learning and AI come in is that Google works in the background to find items related to your interests for you, which you can then decide to add to your Keen or not. This creates a positive feedback loop, helping you to continue to discover more information on your favorite topics easily.

Keen is available as of today on the Google Play Store and the web; there is no word yet on iOS availability, but that is sure to come as Google puts practically all of its apps on Apple's platform.

Google has tried and failed to make headway in the social space, with products like Wave, Jaiku, Orkut, and Google +, not to mention the tangled mess of messaging services the company still offers. Time will tell if Keen will become a fan favorite and get some traction, but I'll be sure to give it a go and see how I like it.

What about you? Are you going to create an account and use the Keen app?

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

4 Comments
  • Keen is DOA (Dead on Arrival). I'd argue the social media space is saturated and there is no compelling reason for Keen to exist. Keen is part of Google's never ending quest to know more about people so it can sell people stuff. One can only hope they don't bundle Keen as a mandatory install within future Android versions.
  • Do you really trust Google less with your personal info than Facebook/Instagram/Whatsapp though?
    There's no doubt that they vacuum it up. But at least they're not giving it away to bad actors at every turn and then refusing to take any responsibility.
  • That sure is an ugly icon.
  • Nope... Learned my lesson with Google+.