Area 120, the division of Google that is in charge of creating experimental products for the company, has just launched Keen: a new web and Android application that allows us to create collaborative lists in which to include all kinds of interests.
It reminds a bit of Pinterest, although Keen harness the power of machine learning and search to help users find relevant content that matches their tastes.
“It is not intended to be a place to spend endless hours sailing”
For example, let’s say you might be interested in learning to meditate at home. You create a new “Keen” in this service and name it “Meditation”. Google will take care of recommending some search terms and websites related to your interest and thus find content that may interest you.
Once you have created it, Keen will take care of offering you content related to your interest. You can edit those search tags at any time (to further refine your interest) and save content that really interests you (mark it as “gem”, so that it appears in a dedicated section).
As we see, each area of interest is called “Keen” (just like the platform), a term that is often used to refer to someone with intellectual speed. C.J. Adams, one of the creators of the service, explained in an entry how the idea of this project arose.
Adams assures he realized that he spent too much time on his smartphone browsing without thinking about the content and images, thus filling your downtime. It was then that it occurred to him that perhaps he could better use his time to learn more about subjects that really interest him.
“Keen is not meant to be a place to spend endless hours sailing. Instead, it is a home for your interests: a place to grow them, share them with loved ones, and find things that will help make this precious life count.”
Another interesting point is that you can manually add links, images or text your Keens, and when you have finished you will have the possibility to share them with other people so that they can consult or collaborate.
Keen remembers a kind of marriage between Pinterest and Flipboard and we will have to follow this platform closely to see how it evolves. Google has created many of the most used and important online services of the last decades, but it also has a long history of abandoned products. We will have to wait to know what this new bet becomes.
Google launches Keen: a kind of Pinterest powered by machine learning