Google has launched a new platform, Keen, dedicated to helping users create boards—called “Keens”—around different interests. Users can create their own Keen devoted to unique interests, which Google will then auto-populate with activity-relevant content delivered in a visually appealing layout. Keen’s content format could help it serve as a one-stop shop for users looking to capitalize on new interests and ideas, according to a Gartner report.
Users can create boards for virtually anything, with Google providing items such as YouTube clips or news articles revolving around a topic. Users are encouraged to be specific with their boards, as the platform provides prompts to help deliver the most relevant content. For example, users interested in baking could specify their Keen to revolve around cakes and cupcakes, which will let Google deliver specific recipes or baking videos. The platform, which is available online and through Android, is working via Google’s AI technology to auto-generate prompts to create more personalized Keens.
Google’s Keen site will also serve as a social platform, letting users share their Keens and invite others to collaborate on an interest board together. The platform is a unique project for Google, and marks one of the brand’s largest attempts to move into the social media space. Collaboration is an accentuated feature on Keen, though users are equally encouraged to foster new hobbies and interests by creating numerous Keens. The platform’s premise of curating content and sharing it amongst friends or strangers may sound familiar to any Pinterest user. As a social interest platform full of food recipes, craft ideas, and other hobbies and skills, Keen is set to be a competitor to Pinterest. However, Google’s focus on machine learning, which delivers personalized and relevant content, could set it apart from its competition. As well, Pinterest’s recent efforts to move into the e-commerce space could benefit the platforms by helping audiences to view them for different purposes.
While homebound during the pandemic, social media users have turned to Pinterest in search of hobbies and ideas. However, with the timely release of Keen, users now have another option for curating interests and content during the crisis. Will they be keen for Keen or partial to Pinterest?