Google's Area 120 Launches Keen For Interest Curation & Collaboration

Keen from Area 120

Google experiment incubator Area 120 by Google has now launched a new app called Keen. That’s because it’s reportedly angled toward helping users curate and collaborate on their interests. The app works by letting users create a “Keen” or multiple “Keens.” Those essentially work as collection boards. Each of those Keens can be given a set topic they’re interested in — or “keen” on. Then, users can populate the Keens with links, photos, and other content related to the topic.

For a more social experience, a Keen can be shared and collaborated on by friends and family too. So, much like the strongest would-be-competitor Pinterest, users are able to intermingle their Keens with others. That lets users open up and readily access a plethora of content related to any of their favorite subjects.

Also not unlike the above-mentioned competitor, Google will serve up suggestions for users to add to their Keens or follow. Those will be selected based on Google’s ample machine learning tool, however. So users may feel less inclined to turn them off here. Google searches can be saved to a Keen too, stacking on a bit of extra productivity and usability.


Collaboration with loved ones is a central tenant here

One of the core tenets of Keen that could help set it apart from other apps is the reason for its existence in the first place. As described via its announcement, the app was first dreamt up by co-founder CJ Adams as a way for he and his wife to explore their common interests and better allocate their time together.

Summarily, the pair discovered that they were spending too much time on their phones, “mindlessly filling the gaps between work and sleep.”

Keen serves as a way for users to share their interests with others around them. By collaborating on links related to those interests and exploring the various associated outlets, users are able to spend more time actively working on collective passions. The focal point for keen allowing users to share content that gets them actively pursuing their interests. And, more importantly, sharing that activity with others.


That’s instead of just talking about it or sharing related posts on social media. Used appropriately, the machine learning algorithms here should make suggestions that follow in that same vein. Namely, offering up content that gets people active in their passions. Rather than simply supplying basic images, memes, and information on a given topic.

There’s another recent Area 120 project available for baser media consumption

For those who do want to sit back and just absorb some new content, conversely, Area 120 has another app for that. Launched this week, Tangi Quick Videos is a similarly-styled app for sharing short video content.

The branding for Tangi is an amalgamation of “teach and give” also derived from the word “tangible.”


As that likely implies, there’s certainly a DIY, projects-focused bent to Tangi as well. But unlike Keen, the central focal point is all about video content. The catch is that videos can only be up to 60-seconds in length. Setting aside comments and the video description features, that makes Tangi more well-suited for busy people. Or at least for those who can’t be bothered to watch full length creative, exploration, or learning videos.

As with Keen, Tangi is also available for free directly from the Google Play Store. Keen is also available on the web.