Recap: Google has notoriously struggled in the social networking sector. Its most famous example, the aforementioned Google+, launched in 2011. After getting off to a promising start, however, the social network ultimately failed to compete with rival Facebook and other budding platforms like Instagram.

Google has announced that it is shutting down experimental social networking app Shoelace.

Developed by Google’s experimental workshop, Area 120, the app launched in mid-2019 shortly after the consumer arm of Google+ was sunset. As The Verge recounts, the hyperlocal social networking app was designed to help users organize local activities and events. It rolled out on an invite-only basis in New York City where it remained for the duration of its short run.

In a recently updated FAQ, Google said that given the current health crisis, they don’t believe now is the right time to invest further in the project. As such, it will be shut down on May 12 at which time all user accounts will be deleted and the app’s backend will be removed from Google’s servers permanently.

Interested parties can download an exported version of their user data here.

Google said it has no plans to reboot Shoelace in the future. That’s not uncommon considering many of Area 120’s projects are short-lived, only run in order to test ideas and hopefully to learn something new.

Masthead credit: carroti