Google’s Keen Is Like Pinterest But Not a Mess

A screenshot of Keen with the Keen logo.
Google

An experimental new website called Keen just slipped its way out of Google’s labs. The AI-driven website, which is developed by Google’s Area 120 team, curates topics based on your hobbies and interests. In short, Keen is similar to Pinterest, except it’s much cleaner and easier to use.

The Keen interface is simple. You can follow pre-made categories, like DIY Projects for Small Apartments and Automatons in History, or type in an topic to quickly create your own Keen category.

Keen categories are automatically populated with articles, instructables, and YouTube videos, but they become more personalized as you interact with content. You can also curate your categories with “Searches” (which are really just tags), or by manually removing results from the Explore tab. If a piece of content stands out to you, marking it as a “Gem” will save it to a dedicated tab for all of your followers to see.

A screenshot of my Keen "Woodworking" page.
Andrew Heinzman

I’m not going to lie and say that Keen is an innovative website. It’s just an algorithmic riff on Pinterest—a website that already utilizes custom AI to charm its users. But Keen is unique and appealing for a few reasons. For one, it’s a lot cleaner and more intuitive than Pinterest. Keen is also linked to your Google account, and let’s be honest; Google knows you better than you know yourself. Keen pages get personal way faster than Pinterest pages do.

But that’s where Keen gets kinda gross. Behind the scenes, Google is taking note of all the Keen categories you follow and content that you save to your “Gems” list. It’s like filling out a form of all your hobbies and interests, which Google will inevitably use for ads and personalized News or YouTube feeds. As The Verge points out, Keen doesn’t have any privacy controls and falls under Google’s general Privacy Policy.

For some, Keen could fill the void left by Tumblr fanblogs and Facebook pages. It’s a clean website that doesn’t require a lot of attention and isn’t bogged down by social media crap. Any hobbyists, tech-nerds, music fans, or teachers can use Keen to build lists of interesting content, inspirational photos, or educational resources. But will it Keen the scale of Pinterest? We’ll have to wait and find out.

Source: Google via The Verge

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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