Social media has understandably made a record number of headlines and discussions this year. People and companies alike are continually pondering how it has become an integral part of our life. Remarkably, an average individual will spend nearly 142 minutes on social networking sites and messaging platforms every day. This translates to a total of more than five years spent over a lifetime. Plus, social media networks are evolving their tools and options to further attract and engage new users.
Google is back with a bang. They are introducing a new social media application that aims at organizing local events and activities. The social networking industry has evolved from being a digital world exuberance to a massive platform for businesses, entrepreneurs, and different organizations that seek greater recognition economically. All businesses, regardless of its budget, has a chance to grow their audience and reach marketing objectives through advertisements on social media. Social networking has even been included in the curriculum of major business schools as well.
Google’s Stumbles and New Experiment on Social Networking
Google failed every time they attempted to build a successful social media platform. After the Shutdown of Google+ in April 2019 due to low user engagement and software design flaws, Google is trying its hands once again at social networking with its latest application: Shoelace.
Although, Google has to presume a sombre story when it comes to social networks.
An early social networking site by the tech giant, called Orkut, had seen success in Brazil, but in the U.S. it failed drastically. Although the developers redesigned Orkut a considerable amount of times, it wasn’t able to retain the user base. Google Friend Connect went nowhere. Google Buzz allowed users to share links, photos, videos, and statuses. After a class-action lawsuit over privacy issues with the product, Google Buzz was closed within 18 months of its launch. Google’s social networking efforts have so far gone wrong. Shoelace is the fifth attempt from Google to succeed in the social space after the high-profile collapse of Orkut, Google Friend Connect, Google Buzz and Google+. Since its inception, Google has killed off more than 170 services and applications.
The name “Shoelace” is designed to make you think of tying things together.
Facebook’s Monopoly of Social Networking Industry
Google is developing Shoelace in a bid to rival that of the current social networking giant Facebook. Both firms are extremely competitive in their quest to introduce the best and brightest innovations. Facebook is easily accessible, and it’s also the meeting point of today’s internet savvy audience. Recently, criticism of Facebook has risen drastically, resulting in international media coverage. The social media juggernaut’s privacy issue episodes have opened our eyes to the drab reality. While dissatisfied MySpace users hopped over to Facebook many years ago, there is quite frankly no competitive social media alternative for the resentful users to depart onto.
Facebook has been making a massive amount of earnings with the data they’ve been gathering from people using their platform. This data is a treasure for advertisers and digital marketers who are looking for customer preferences all over the internet. The search engine king is now going to grasp this opportunity and potentially catch Facebook dropouts.
Role of Google Shoelace
Google Shoelace is one of the new updates to enter the realm of the unstoppable Google monarchy. Shoelace is aimed at forming a group of friends by matching the user with people having similar interests and hobbies. The search engine behemoth is launching Shoelace on a smaller scale with limited access currently only in New York City. The developers are planning to expand the service to various cities across the U.S., but there’s no assurance on when that would happen.
Shoelace is different from other social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, as it encourages people to do things in real life, rather than just connecting with others on a website. The hyper-local application is still in an invite-only testing phase and partnered with select communities. A user can request an invite by filling up a Google form. Google is testing this online social networking platform for offline meetups. The Shoelace application can be downloaded via Google Play Store and App Store as well.
We have seen many startups create different alternatives to Facebook, offering tools and techniques to connect users. Google’s experimental Area 120 unit is working on the mission to help facilitate real-world connections by bringing people together based on their shared interests. The application is great for people who have recently moved to a new city and don’t know many people but are looking to meet others. Shoelace helps you find like-minded people for various activities in the city. It asks users for their interests and then recommends a series of hand-picked local activities. It can be a search for someone to accompany you to the fitness center or someone who likes dancing. Shoelace aims to encourage real-life connections through the use of “loops,” which are essentially activities that each user can share with others.
More likely, new trials could begin in San Francisco or Los Angeles, and if it proves a victory, it could well head to other cities outside the U.S.
Not the First Attempt by Google
Google has instigated this concept before as well. Back in 2011, Google introduced Schemer, which aimed to do the purpose of Shoelace. It was a Google service for sharing and discovering things to do. The social aspect of Google Schemer involves more than the expertise to share your thoughts and views with other people. Just as you can graze through schemes that other users have made public so that others can do the same with your schemes. Schemer delivered a great way to collaborate on all sorts of projects. It went to the Google cemetery very soon.
Crawling With Google
Let’s leave an eye out for Google’s new social network project. If this gigantic technologist can pull off a trustworthy Facebook rival, the ever-growing social network will finally have a competitor to keep its power under control. With Google Shoelace, the intentions at least appear reassuring, and this could be a giant leap for the entire social networking industry!