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Image credit: Area 120/Google

Google is testing an online social network for offline meetups

Shoelace helps gather people based on their interests.
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Area 120/Google

Google can't resist the urge to create another social network even after the Google+ shutdown for everyday users. The company's experimental Area 120 unit has developed a social network, Shoelace, that helps people get together in real life. You pick your interests, and the creators help you hook up with like-minded people for various activities, whether they're custom-created or hand-picked. If you're new to town, for instance, you could find fellow runners or a local book club.

Importantly, you can share activities with others whether or not they have Shoelace. You won't necessarily have to create a Facebook event to rope people in, then.

Don't expect to try Shoelace for a while. It's invitation-only at present, and then only in New York City for now. Whether or not it goes public will likely depend on its early performance. If nothing else, it's a relatively fresh take for a Google-made social network -- it's trying to get you off your phone instead of keeping you hooked.

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