It doesn't seem similar to your typical social networks like Facebook or Twitter, and encourages people to do things in real life, rather than connecting with others on the Web. In that sense, it nearly seems like Shoelace is competing with Facebook on the events front.
While Google says it plans to eventually bring Shoelace to cities around the U.S., there seems to be no immediate thoughts of launching the service internationally. When you join up, you'll select from a list of interests that includes a number of different activities.
As per the Shoelace website, this "match-making" is based on the interests and pick, and accordingly the app hooks you up with like-minded people for various activities.
Users will also be able to create profiles so that they can share some tidbits about themselves, learn about others in their "crews", and make it easier to organise and plan for upcoming events.
Google's experimental Area 120 unit is reportedly trailing a new platform called Shoelace, which is apparently an online social network that will help people get together offline. "It's great for folks who have recently moved cities or who are looking to meet others who live nearby". It is now being tested exclusively in NY, but if it proves successful, a wider roll-out could be in the cards.
Of course, with any app where the goal is to facilitate in-person meetups, safety is going to be a concern, and Area 120 says that numerous communities active on Shoelace require verification when users join. "We do so through activities - which are fittingly called 'Loops'".
It's worth noting that the search giant, in April, began the planned shut-down of its ill-fated social networking site, Google+, after discovering multiple security vulnerabilities that it said could have affected as many as 500,000 users.
It's now invite-only, and promises to help you "connect with others who have the same interests.".