Google shuts down Shoelace experiment as local meetups disappear


Google’s Area 120 incubator is shutting down Shoelace, a local event organizing app that it’s been trialing in New York City for the past year, 9to5Google reports. The company said the service will be shutting down on May 12th in an email sent out to users yesterday. “While we’re very proud of what we have built and learned, the team has decided that now doesn’t feel like the right time to continue investing in this project,” the email read.

Launched last July, Shoelace was an app that allowed people to organize local events called “Loops.” The app then listed these events for other users based on their interests, allowing them to RSVP if they wished to attend. It’s not surprising that Google has chosen to wind down the app after it was forced to pause meetups back in March, but it added in its FAQ that there are no plans to reboot the service once this era of social distancing comes to an end.

Shoelace joins a long list of apps and services that have been shuttered by Google, but the company emphasized that its Area 120 incubator is more about trying out new ideas than setting up new long-term projects. Just last October, 9to5Google notes that the incubator shut down its travel-focused Touring Bird service. However, other experiments like Grasshopper and Pigeon are still under active development.



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