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.
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.