Why it matters: Google+ might have closed down, but it seems Google isn’t giving up on creating a social media platform. The company’s experimental Area 120 workshop group is working on a new app called Shoelace, which sounds quite different from the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
Shoelace, which uses the tagline “Supercharge your social life,” isn’t focused on posting photos, videos and updates; instead, it’s designed to connect people with shared interests through in-person activities, making it ideal for those who’ve just moved to new cities.
Once users have listed their interests, it will recommend some hand-picked local activities, which it calls “Loops.” Android Police notes that Shoelace is similar to former Google app Schemer. That particular event organizing app launched in 2011 but shut down three years later.
Available on Android and iOS—no web version, yet—shoelace is currently invite-only. It’s only available in New York right now, but the ultimate goal is to expand to cities across the US, though that could take some time. If you’re interested in trying it out, just fill in this form.
Despite showing signs of promise, Google+ never achieved anything close to Facebook's level of success. Following the discovery of a bug in one of its People APIs that exposed private user data to third-party developers last year, Google decided to close the platform. Its shutdown was brought forward to April 2 when another data leak was discovered.
Google has killed off around 171 services, apps, and pieces of hardware during the company’s existence, including Google+ and Schemer. Will shoelace eventually join them? You can see the full list of shuttered products on this website.