TikTok and now Shoelace: trying to change the social networking game

You have heard of TikTok but not of Shoelace, right? Perhaps yes.

While TikTok is presently the most downloaded app on Google Playstore, much ahead of Facebook and Instagram, Shoelace is not yet there.

Let's talk about TikTok first.

TikTok is a video sharing social media app owned by Chinese IT major, ByteDance. It allows users to post short videos, and is very popular in a number of countries. Though less popular than Facebook and some other social media platforms, its growth in recent years has been phenomenal. It is available in as many as 75 languages and is among the most downloaded mobile apps.

Since one can create a short video instantly and add many effects, the app tends to be highly popular among groups of young people who like to communicate with entertaining videos. In areas where it is very popular, it has given rise to 'TikTok celebrities'. Some of them claim to be making big bucks from advertisers.

TikTok's popularity has led to its inappropriate use and thus the platform has courted content related controversies. Some countries have even banned it temporarily or permanently because of such content, which includes pornography, cyberbullying and blasphemy. Data privacy has been a big issue with the app.

Next, Shoelace.

Shoelace is Google's new social networking offer: a new app. It is available only in NewYork right now and you can download it only if you get an invite for that. Unlike major other apps, it is hyper-local, i.e. meant for networking in a specific geographical area.

Shoelace is meant to keep poking you on new happenings around you so that you get social in your real life. You are also suggested like-minded people and social activities such as dining together. 

You can learn about Shoelace first-hand here: Shoelace New York

While TikTok is about quick sharing of videos and the new smart-phone savvy generation has lapped it, Shoelace may succeed or it may wither like many other experiments - including some by Google. The experimentation is important even if it fails, because new platforms and new ways of socializing that we see today are the outcome of such experimentations.

shoelace by Google
Shoelace