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.”
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.