Google is Keen for you to share your passion

Google has launched Keen, a competitor to Pinterest.

To be precise, Keen was created by Area 120 and PAIR at Google.

Area 120 is a ‘workshop for Google’s experimental products’. It’s where Googlers famously spend 20% of their time on passion projects.

PAIR is People and AI Research is a team at Google that is concerned with making sure that AI is built with people in mind.

Keen is itself an experiment.

Its aim is to offer users a new way to curate their interests.

A bit like you do on Pinterest.

With the help of Artificial Intelligence, Keen wants to improve on the recommendations it surfaces to users.

By using the Google Search Index (and presumably your Google Search history), Keen aims to expand your interests by showing you personalised recommendations.

Keen is available both via the browser and via an Android app.

A word of warning, the app does not get good reviews in Google Play.

Most of the negative feedback relates to the app crashing.

I have downloaded it and it has worked fine for me.

Once you create a profile, the more convenient option is with your Google profile, you can start building a ‘Keen‘ (a Pinterest board basically) or start following already existing ones.

After creating a ‘Keen‘, you can add collaborators to it and start adding resources that you have found around the web.

If you make the ‘Keen‘ ‘public’, it can be discovered via search and on Keen itself.

My first impression of ‘Keen‘ has been good.

I must admit I am not a Pinterest user and probably not the target user for Keen either.

Having said that I am curious about any machine learning input into the surfacing of interests that I may not come across in my daily browsing.

My main concern regards the longevity of this product.

If Keen does not meet whatever its objectives are in terms of user growth (or other relevant metric) what will happen to my ‘Keens’ if the product is discontinued?

Would I be wasting my time in building a ‘library’ only to lose it once someone in San Francisco pulls the plug?

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