Shoelace, Google's local meetup app, is shutting down: Here's why
Shoelace, a local meetup app developed by Google's 'Area 120' experimental projects unit, is shutting down. The move, according to a statement issued by the internet giant, is being taken in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has made local meetups impossible in the world we live in. Here's all you need to know about it.
First, what was Shoelace?
Launched in 2019, Shoelace was an experimental social network aimed at bringing people sharing similar interests together for group activities. For instance, if you like photography, you could use the Shoelace app to plan photoshoot sessions with others interested in the same activity, and potentially be friends with them in the process. It tried connecting people in the real-life, rather than digitally.
However, Shoelace never went beyond New York
While the idea of local meetups through group activities sounds interesting, Shoelace never made past the experimental stage. The service was active as a beta product in New York City, but as the novel coronavirus pandemic started taking roots in the region and the need for social distancing became more important than ever, Google decided to pause its operations in March.
Now, Google is shutting it down completely
After keeping operations on hold for over a month, Google has taken the decision to shut the service down for good. The company says that starting May 12, all Shoelace accounts and the data associated with them will be deleted. "Given the current health crisis, we don't feel that now is the right time to invest further in this project," it added.
No plan to reboot Shoelace
Google went on to clarify that Area 120 has no plan to reboot Shoelace, even when social distancing restrictions will be removed. This is why it has urged all users of the service to fill a form and request a copy of their data before May 12. "We're proud of the work that we accomplished and the community that we built," the company noted.