Google’s experimental incubator, Area 120, has released a new sort-of social network whose pain purpose is to help you keep in one place all related articles and posts about your specific areas of interests. Keen is both a web and Android app that utilizes the power of Google’s search and web capabilities. It is the app itself that will gather and add to your resources as long as it matches the keywords that you’ve added to your different Keens.
The Area 120 collaborators worked with a team called People and AI Research (PAIR) which focus on human-centered machine learning systems. They came up with the Keen app to provide a digital home for your long-term interests. Once you’ve downloaded the app or accessed it through your browser, you can start creating various Keens which is any specific topic that you want to learn about or explore. It can be “first time homeschooling” or “space-related pop culture creations” or “researching infographics”.
After you tap the button to create your Keen, Google will do its job and search for things to recommend to you which you can find in the explore section. If you see something that you like o want to keep, tap on the gem icon and it will be saved to the Gems section. There’s also a Searches section where you can edit the terms you want Google to search. You can also add a link or text, add from search, or add a section for more specific things related to your over-all Keen.
Since this is using AI and algorithms, the more you use it, the better it will be in recommending content to you. Think of it as a less-visual Pinterest or a more Google-y Flipboard. You can also make your Keen private or public and you can also explore other people’s keens if they choose to make it public as well. You can also add collaborators to your board if you want other people to add to it.
You can download Keen from the Google Play Store or also access it as a web app on Chrome. Since this is still an experimental app there are still some areas for improvement with its UI as well as its algorithm.