Google has announced it is closing one of its attempted social networks before the project passed the testing phase.
Shoelace was first revealed in July 2019 and was designed to be a friendship app, with the potential to be used as a dating platform as well.
Available only in New York City, it encouraged users to connect with people in their area with shared interests and had a heavy emphasis on meeting up for real-world events and activities.
Only a small number of iOS users were able to test the platform before it was shut down. The team explained that they would not be continuing to develop the app during the time of COVID-19 and widespread isolation.
However, there is potential for Shoelace to make a return once the city gets back on its feet. Testers are being asked to request that their data is preserved by filling out this form before 12th May.
There is a small amount of hope that the project can be revisited when museums, concerts and other live events get reopened again.
Google is regularly trialling new products through its experimental division Area 120. Last month it made the decision to close down Neighbourly, a hyperlocal Indian app that aimed to give local communities to ask questions and share insight about their everyday lives.
A lack of user interaction was cited as the reason behind the project’s termination, two years after it was first launched.
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