Orkut Version 6, Maybe 7?

July 15, 2020

Alphabet Inc. had a dismal failure with Google+, but the company is ready to try again with a new social media platform says the Bandwidth Blog in: “With Its Experimental ‘Keen’ Service, Google Hopes To Tackle Pinterest.” Google’s new social media platform is called Keen and it is impossible not to make the assumption they are playing me too with this innovation. Can it even be called innovation?

Pinterest has its devoted users, who post everything from dream wedding albums to their favorite fanart. Google wants Keen to one up Pinterest, but its description sounds innocuous:

“Launched under the auspices of Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120, Keen is a Pinterest-like social network that is designed to marry Google’s machine learning strengths, user data hoarded, and insights from its existing Google Alerts system to craft together a smorgasbord of content that evolves as its users interests take shape.”

Google has developed powerful AI that collects user data and successfully makes personalized recommendations. Google also sells user data to advertisers, so it is not a stretch for them to use it for another social media project.

Keen is already available on Android. Users’ Keen pinboards feature content based on recent Google searches. The content includes YouTube videos, purchase suggestions, and articles. The biggest thing is that when a user becomes interested in a topic, Keen will recommend more content for deeper dives. Users can pin their items to create their own ‘Keen’ interest, then share them with others.

The experience is similar to Pinterest, except the topics on Keen are generated by Google searches and other activity. It would be easy for Google to add Keen to its other free services, especially making it an Apple app or a browser extensions on Chrome. Unlike Google+, Alphabet is not concentrating as much on Keen. It is hard to say if Keen will emerge beyond Android, but anything is possible.

Whitney Grace, July 15, 2020

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