18 June 2020
Google has launched an experimental product called Keen. It is actually the brainchild of Area 120, a workshop for Google’s experimental products. The name of the new platform is not self-explanatory and it needs some time to evolve even further so that we could clearly see the makers’ vision. Well, the description of the app clearly mentions it is an experimental app and after installing it, you may feel that too, though it is not too difficult to get the gist of it.
Take a look at the video -
The blog post by Area 120 team does try to summarize the topic as to why Keen and why there is a need for it. CJ Adams, Co-founder, Keen started the blog post by throwing an example as to why Keen. According to Adams, Keen aims to be an alternative to “mindlessly” browsing online feeds. As he defines it, “Keen curates content from the web and people you trust to help make that happen.”
For me, Keen appears to be an advanced version of Google’s own app called Keep, a note-taking app. But Keen lets you do beyond rather just taking text or image notes and saving them privately. Keen is primarily a content discovery app that allows you to curate content efficiently. The app is being perceived as a Pinterest competitor, which it essentially is, but the new app is much more advanced and does not hold a “shallow” approach like Pinterest. Keen goes “deeper” as a keen searcher goes for his/her interest.
Keen uses the power of machine learning and this is what makes it different from Pinterest. In Keen, you can even look for some Google search results as well and that too within the app and save them using the “Gem” icon alongside them. For instance, I searched for “cocktails,” and the app allowed me to do web searches as well. The search results are fetched quite quickly and you can click on any result to dive in further. The best part is, these web pages open inside the app so fast. I believe Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework is behind it. Needless to state, the app, of course, lets you select the keens that are present within the app as well.
Keen is clearly giving you endless options to collect gems around you and save them and even share with the world.
The blog post reads,
For every keen you create, we use Google Search and the latest in machine learning to remain on the lookout for helpful content related to your interests. The more you save to a keen and organize it, the better the recommendations become.
Unlike Keen, Pinterest gives preference to its users only as it does not fetch results beyond its app. Here, the reach is limited as it just discovers ideas from the publishers who make their content available in the app. But Keen goes beyond by fetching its giant’s search engine results. But, is Google doing this service for free? Is it just fetching publishers' content within its new Keen app for free? Well, we will find out soon. At the end of the day, Keen is just another content discovery app, which is privileged to have machine learning. Thus, Keen does its best to offer you the best content and curate things better.
Keen is available on the web and Android already but it is not available as a mobile app on Android. It is still a web-app. Opening the app will navigate you to the web simply. Currently, Keen is in its raw form, well, because it is still an experiment, but it will gradually transform into a better state and a full-fledged mobile app.
At the time of writing, Keen has 500+ installs, since it is just the start. Pinterest has over 100M installs and over time, the app has grown better and proved to be an essential app for any hobbyist. It is yet to be seen how Google’s Keen will do in the market.
Keen | Android | Play Store, Free