The app is being pilot tested in New York City and other selected areas, and it’s meant to grow a person’s friend group by matching people who have the same hobbies or likes.
“Shoelace is a mobile app that helps connect people with shared interests through in person activities. It’s great for folks who have recently moved cities or who are looking to meet others who live nearby,” Google said on the Shoelace site.
Users can create activities and happenings they care about and then invite people to join. Shoelace will also notify users of events that fall into their sphere of interests.
The app is currently in the invite-only stage, and it’s possible it may never get a larger rollout because location is one of the main selling points of the app.
The app will be available on iOS and Android, and there’s no word whether it will come to the web. Other apps released by Area 120 in the past have simply been adopted into other Google services.
In terms of safety, Google said it’s an important issue.
“We take safety and privacy very seriously at Shoelace. After installing the app, we ask each user to join a community — which often require verification — to ensure you only attend Loops with people you might want to know,” the company said. “We also work hard to make sure that everything you see in Shoelace — from profiles to Loops — is aligned with our House Rules and community standards. Think we missed something? Report a Loop or profile and we’ll work hard to fix the situation.”
The name of the app comes from the joining together of two different people based on one common interest.
“The whole premise of Shoelace is to tie people together based on their interests — like two laces on a shoe. We do so through activities — which are fittingly called ‘Loops,’” Google said.