Google’s Area 120 team that operates as an internal incubator for making experimental apps and services has released a rival app for Pinterest called Keen. It is available on the web and Android and, according to co-founder CJ Adams, the app is designed to serve as an alternative to “mindlessly” browsing online feeds.
“On Keen [...] 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,” writes Adams in a blog post. “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.”
This description doesn't really make it sound like a rival app to Pinterest because every other social media site monitors your interests and then gives you a personalized feed. So along with this feature, Keen also aims to capture the Pinterest style of visual design and this is where you might see some competition.
Now you might think that since Pinterest has existed for such a long time, how can a newly developed app pose a threat to it. Well, first of all, Keen runs under Google which has a high level of expertise in machine learning and Adam says it will surface “helpful content related to your interests.”
“Even if you’re not an expert on a topic, you can start curating a keen and save a few interesting ‘gems’ or links that you find helpful,” says Adams. “These bits of content act like seeds and help keen discover more and more related content over time.”
However, Keen would have to deliver its maximum output if it aims to replace Pinterest because the latter also invests a lot in AI. Google has rarely ever made a lasting mark in social space which is the primary source of collecting user’s data and then providing relentless products according to it.
It is good to see that Google is widening its horizons and exploring other applications by making use of its machine learning systems.