To help users share their passions with the world, Google unveiled a place for “long-term interests” called Keen that was made as part of its Area 120 test workshop. The project’s team worked in conjunction with the firm’s People and AI Research (PAIR) group, which works on “human-centered machine learning systems” per a blog post.
The Keen Android and web app let users curate media from the internet and others. Users create a “keen,” which Founder CJ Adams could be about anything from baking, typography to birding. Adams wrote in the blog post, “Keen lets you curate the content you love, share your collection with others and find new content based on what you have saved.”
Users are also provided with suggestions with the help of Google Search and machine learning. Adams wrote, “The more you save to a keen and organize it, the better the recommendations become.” Users can also curate for themselves or for others, since the keens are able to be public or private. They are able to decide what is shared and who is able to add to it.
Users can follow keens that others have made, which lets them come across lists from the community as well as receive alerts when new elements are added. But Adams wrote, “Keen isn’t intended to be a place to spend endless hours browsing. Instead, it’s a home for your interests: a place to grow them, share them with loved ones and find things that will help in making this precious life count.”
Last July, news surfaced that Area 120 rolled out Shoelace, a hyperlocal social networking program. The app was in testing in New York City, along with other places, and was intended to expand an individual’s friend group by connecting those who share likes or hobbies.
Users can make events and activities they care about and invite others to join per news at the time.