Google being one of the largest internet company, has launched several services over a period of 20 years. Many of them have been quite successful. But one thing Google has tried and failed several times is Social Networking. First of all, Google was late to enter this market, and when it did things didn’t go the way Google might have expected. Google is trying to compete with Facebook and Twitter for several years now but never got any close to it. Google+ was something promising, and it also got heads up in the beginning, but it slowly started to die, and in April this year, Google had formally closed the service.
Google+ was not the only social networking service that Google had launched there was another though unknown to masses; it was called Schemer. The purpose of Schemer was to let people discover things to do in the local area. That project was also a failure, and Google had it shut down just after two years.
Google is again trying to enter social networking space, and this time with Shoelace. Shoelace is very much similar to Schemer. It is a region-based social app where it shows the things that are happening around your city. With this you can plan your day based on your interest, connect with people from your local area who shares the same interest. This is not your general social networking, which focuses on relationship building. Instead, it focuses on local communities (like college) to organize events and let people connect over that event.
Currently, Shoelace is test piloting in New York City with select few communities. The service is now invite-only that means to be able to download and get on the network, you need to have an invite code. Shoelace is currently available on Android and iOS, and there is no sign of web version as of now.
The service is currently limited to New York City, and there is with few communities only. It feels like Google is taking things slowly with Shoelace. It is unlikely that this attempt from Google will threaten Facebook or Twitter anytime soon. Google’s main focus with this project is to target the niche market and work their way up to be a full social media.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that this project is currently under Area 120 group. Area 120 group is Google’s experimental project department, which tests many programs, and most of it never sees the light of official worldwide roll out. So, this project just could be just one of those who never see the global rollout. At this time, we will have to wait a year or so to see how far this project goes.