Pinterest, the image sharing and social media service, has some new competition from one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Google is launching an experimental rival called Keen.
Keen was developed by Google’s experimental product workshop Area 120. You may remember back in April Google shut down a social network called Shoelace, which was also developed by Area 120, but failed to survive the current health crisis. Now the workshop is trying again, only this time with Pinterest firmly in its cross-hairs.
Posting on Medium, Google product manager CJ Adams describes Keen as, “a home for long term interests” which will initially be available on the Web and as an Android app. Adams explains, “you say what you want to spend more time on, and then curate content from the web and people you trust to help make that happen. You make a “keen,” which can be about any topic, whether it’s baking delicious bread at home, getting into birding or researching typography. Keen lets you curate the content you love, share your collection with others and find new content based on what you have saved.”
Keen was developed by Adams along with four colleagues at Area 120 and involved a close collaboration with Google’s People and AI Research (PAIR) team. According to the Keen website, the service works by leveraging the Google Search index combined with user feedback “to provide personalized recommendations that improve over time and help expand your interests.” It’s a way of giving users control over their recommendations, apparently.
Adams is asking for people to sign-up, start growing their interests, and then use the feedback form so the team can “make it better.” Hopefully it proves more popular and lasts longer than Shoelace did.