Google is shutting down another social network you’ve never heard of

Google Shoelace Area 120
Credit: Google

Google is winding down Shoelace, a hyperlocal social networking app it launched last July to help people find others nearby to join them in activities like sports and attending shows. The company said it’ll close down Shoelace servers on May 12.

The service was available only in New York City, and was an experiment from Area 120, the company’s internal incubator for employees’ potentially big ideas. Google noted that “given the current health crisis, we don’t feel that now is the right time to invest further in this project,” and that it doesn’t plan to reboot Shoelace in the future.

Like most 30-somethings who don’t always have an easy time meeting new people, I quite liked the idea behind Shoelace: You could join communities to find like-minded folks in your area, and spot editor-curated activities to participate in.

Shoelace promises to help you connect with others who share your interests

Understandably, Shoelace is likely not seeing much action right now, owing to the coronavirus crisis. I’m sad to learn that Google doesn’t intend to resurrect it later on — but hey, maybe the tides will turn once we’re out of the woods with this pandemic, and there will be more interest in a service like this.

With that, another product lands six feet under in the Google cemetery. If you used Shoelace much over the past several months, you can export your data via this page before May 12.

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