Google Keen: An Artificial Intelligence rival to Pinterest

Google Keen: An Artificial Intelligence rival to Pinterest

If you are up to date with the latest Google products then you have probably heard of Google Keen. Google recently released Keen, which is a platform similar to Pinterest. Users can create and share a keen about their interests and hobbies. When Pinterest first came out Google did not have any interest. But now, Pinterest has transformed into a visual engine of discovery that is heavily focused on eCommerce. Slowly Google has watched Pinterest grow and take a few bites away from its search business in the process.

Google’s newest attempt at taking on Pinterest is the app, Google Keen. “Keen” is a word that refers to someone who is focused or intellectually alert. This describes the exact purpose of the app: waste less time scrolling through mindless content and spend more time focusing on the content you love. The app comes from Google’s internal workshop called Area 120 Team that works on experimental and innovative projects.

What is Google Keen?

The application is centered around allowing you to curate and share content you are passionate about. You can share information with other users through links, photos, and other resources. You control how your content is seen by deciding if your keens are private or visible to the public. A “keen” can be about any topic ranging from “make computer-animated art” to “learn the secrets for making great bread.” You can follow other users’ keens that you want to learn more about. Friends, family, and co-workers can curate specific topics collaboratively.

Google Keen
Google Keen

For every keen you create, we use Google Search and the latest in machine learning to remain on the lookout for helpful content related to your interests. The more you save to a keen and organize it, the better the recommendations become. Even if you’re not an expert on a topic, you can start curating a keen and save a few interesting ‘gems’ or links that you find helpful. These bits of content act like seeds and help Keen discover more and more related content over time,” said CJ Adams who is the Co-Founder, in a blog post discussing Keen.

How do you make a Google Keen?

I decided to make a Keen about interior design. Since that is a topic I am interested in and passionate about. Below I explain step by step how to make a Keen.

Step 1: Go to Google Keen

Click on or type in

Step 2: Create A Google Keen

  • Click Sign In on the top right corner
  • Log in with your Google Account
  • Click the black button showing the white plus sign
  • Create a KEEN by entering your specific interest
  • Click Next
Google Keen
Create a Google Keen

Step 3: Search criteria

Select a few of the search suggestions that are given and/or add your own.

Step 4: Add description and select privacy settings

Write a brief description of the subject of your KEEN.

Click on the lock icon and choose one of the following privacy settings:

  • Private: visible to only you
  • Shared: visible to you AND to the people you invite
  • Public: visible to everyone

Click Create and, voila! Now your Keen is visible.

Google Keen
Google Keen description

Step 5: Selecting Gems

Click on the Keen you just made. With the search results you can do a variety of things:

From left to right the words Gems, Explore, and Searches will appear. You can save your favorite search results from the Explore and Searches page by click on the gem icon which will illuminate in blue. Once you save them they will appear on the Gems page. Saving gems will allow you to explore more topics thanks to machine learning.

Google Keen
Google Keen post

What is Machine Learning?

Since the app is based on machine learning you may be asking yourself, what is machine learning? Machine learning is a subgroup of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows a system to automatically learn and adapt to new situations without being specifically programmed to do so.

Specifically, with Google Keen, it expands on search results that the users accumulate in their keen. When the user saves more gems, Google Keen will be able to explicitly comprehend the user’s specific interests. The results will be visible on the main screen. The main screen will not show recent but rather relevant information. This is why Google Keen is so often compared to the popular service Pinterest they operate similarly. The main difference between Keen and Pinterest is that Keen is far more personalized, and filters out mindless content.

Why did Google create Keen?

Google Keen started because of Co-founder CJ Adams and his wife. They were collecting and sharing links about their interests. They both wanted to spend more time on links and resources that align with their passions in real life, so then Keen was born.

Google wants its customers to have more accurate answers to questions. Keen is the latest way for Google users to be able to share and learn new information effectively.

How will Keen impact your traffic on the web?

Keen is a new method for users to find web content. If the application takes off in a good direction it could bring traffic to your website. When users find and save your content to one keen it will more than likely make its way to other keens and a larger audience. For this to happen your content must be relevant and entertaining. If you are trying to enhance your online content check out our article on social media management.

Google has emphasized that Keen is not just another social media platform where users just scroll through an endless amount of pictures. Adams explains that Keen is “a home for your interests: a place to grow them, share them with loved ones, and find things that will help in making this precious life count.” If your content lines up with these values you potentially may have more visitors, shares, and traffic. Maybe Keen will become a rival to Pinterest, or it will go down the same route as Google+ only time will tell.

You can start using Keen on the web right now, or download the Google Play Store‘s official Android version. At the moment there has not been any word on when or if an iOS version will be available.

Did you sign up for Keen? If so, what was your experience with the service like?

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