Google is building a new social network

Google Shoelace
Image credit: Google/Shutterstock (Image credit: Google/Shutterstock)

Google is building a new social network, named Shoelace, which it claims will "supercharge your social life".

Mere months after shutting down Google+, the company has revealed that it's taking a second shot at Facebook – this time focusing exclusively on events.

Unlike most social networks, which let people connect with others all around the world, Shoelace is region-based, and is starting out with a trial among a handful of communities in New York City.

The app (available for iOS and Android) is currently invite-only, and can only be installed if you've received an invite code. There's no sign of a web version though, and although Google's Shoelace site uses the .nyc domain extension, the company doesn't seem to have registered domains for other cities that have them (such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas).

What's going on

According to Android Police, Shoelace seems to have a lot in common with Schemer, another location-based social network that Google launched in 2011 and canned in 2014.

It seems unlikely that another social site will be able to shake Facebook's hold, but perhaps by working directly with specific communities (individual colleges, for example), Google might be able to force its way into some small niches.

Alternatively, it might not go anywhere. Shoelace is being developed by Google's Area 120 team, which specializes in experimental projects – not all of which see the light of day. Only time (and a few groups in NCY) will tell.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)