Google launches a new social app
Google isn’t giving up on its social ambitions, it seems, despite its failures with Google+. The company announced this morning a new social app called Spaces, which focuses on group sharing. The app allows small groups of users to tap into other Google services, including Google Search, YouTube and Chrome, in order to post links and share content without having to move in between apps. They can also have conversations around that content in a group chat-like interface.
Group sharing isn’t easy. From book clubs to house hunts to weekend trips and more, getting friends into the same app can be challenging. Sharing things typically involves hopping between apps to copy and paste links. Group conversations often don’t stay on topic, and things get lost in endless threads that you can’t easily get back to when you need them.
Google wanted to build a better group sharing experience, so they made Spaces that lets people get people together instantly to share around any topic.
With Spaces, it’s simple to find and share articles, videos and images without leaving the app, since Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome come built in.
This makes Spaces more of a competitor to something like Facebook’s Messenger or WhatsApp, perhaps, because of its focus on chatting and its mobile-friendly nature. (The app is available on iOS, Android and mobile web, though it will also work on the desktop).
What many of the top chat apps today lack are deeper integrations with web services – while posted links may offer rich media previews in some cases, Google Spaces’ users can not only find and share web content from Google Search and YouTube, that content can also be viewed by others without having to leave the app.
Another decidedly Google advantage is that the content shared in a dedicated space becomes searchable. Users can search their Spaces by keyword, which returns both links and images – the latter thanks to Google’s image recognition technology already live today in other products, like Google Photos.