Google is all set to give a tough competition to Pinterest with its next big thing in social discovery and search, Keen.
Despite Google’s track records of squashing its experimental social media prematurely, it is still all in on this one. So, what is Keen all about, and will it turn out to be successful?
Let’s hop right into the details.
What is Keen?
Keen is a beta run of an android app, which comes under Google’s area 120 projects. Area 120 of Google is an initiative by Google that brings small-sized teams together to collaborate and create. The whole purpose of the project is to foster innovation and ideas.
Google got the idea for the new project from couples sharing information based on their daily activities. Couples share links and activities all the time, things that they relate to, and Google decided that a tool to explore, collect, and discover more about these ideas was needed. The app would collect the links and resources from people – they could then share those links if they desire, or keep them private.
If this sounds like Pinterest, the design will make all the difference. The app will use the power of Google search engine and machine learning to bring out interesting new content. You can grow your collection, explore ideas, and dig deep into your hobbies.
Google Keen is all about the discovery of content on a much deeper level. Whether people connect to this remains to be seen.
How Does Keen Work?
First-time visitors will see a grid full of topics from all areas of interest. They can select any of the results they see in a Keen. So, in a way, every topic you select is keen. You can choose from the available grid, or create new keens. The content served to you will depend on your area of interest. You can share it or keep it private, explore it with your friends, or explore it all by yourself.
Keen has three areas that they call – Searches, Explore, and Gem.
The Gem is where your saved keens are stored.
Explore is where you get to see new ideas or results that come up from search queries.
The Search section has the search queries which you create, save, or edit. Users can also choose to get new content through email every week, twice.
Keen is trying to hit two birds with one stone. They want to get you out of the feed loop, so you can focus on the topics you are truly interested in. And then, you can also share your interests with groups and couples.
Simply put, you spend hours upon hours scrolling social media, never really absorbing anything. You check out images, posts, articles, videos, mindlessly, never really learning or exploring anything. Yet, you only have one life.
If you are interested in woodworking, why waste hours scrolling through images that don’t build you up and help you grow. Why not dig deep into the details of woodworking? And then, you can find friends, family, or other people who share the same interests, so you can help each other get better at woodworking.
What Makes Keen Different?
Google has always had state of the art machine learning technology. Whereas Pinterest has banked on the same machine learning to keep people interested in their hobbies, Google is empowering its platform by introducing its search tools, discovery feeds, and news. This is why Keen has all the makings to become a truly personalized search site, just like google can cater to your search requests by targeted marketing.
Like Pinterest is a great place to get new ideas and information, Keen brings broader applicability by adding minute details like planning, and buying. Despite Google’s multitude of failed social media sites, Keen has good social features, but it is not a social site. You don’t need to share things on your feed to make it. You can just explore ideas on your own, and never have to care about competing with others for success.
Why Should Social Media Marketers Take Notice?
Keen is primed for capturing key interests, hobbies, and needs of the users. Imagine you are a fabric shop, and Keen has a list of all the people who are into needlework, needing all sorts of special fabric for their projects. You can create ads down to the very personal needs of these users. If Keen becomes successful, it would be a place where marketers can create some truly contextual advertisements.
Google has fallen short on properly marketing their social media tools in the past. Considering that they put enough effort behind Keen, they could be competing for 367 million active users who frequent Pinterest as a hobby and interest market. This is probably what brought Google to explore this territory. If Google captures the traffic of Pinterest, marketers should pay attention to the brand new, untapped market.
Besides, Keen uses a similar, but a more advanced version of Google recommendations that you see while searching the internet. It not only tracks what you are searching over the internet, but what content you want to explore in the app. This tool can utilize machine learning in combination with human interest, and help marketers collect advanced data points.
This is a completely new territory and carries untapped potential. If you are banking on the interest and hobby market of Pinterest already, or use Google social media search functionality to target and customize ads to the users, Keen is perfect for you.
If you own a shop of gluten-free food, and users have listed their interests in healthy eating, you can supply them with all the ingredients to make that diet a success. All through the highly categorized marketing feature of Google Keen.
Reaching millions of people will never get easier than this, and before everyone else has the same idea, you should proactively utilize it as a marketer.