How does Google Eager evaluate to Pinterest?

Google has launched a social platform that, if launched, could give Pinterest a run for its money. Google Keen is a curation tool with which users can collect not only content from the Internet, but also text and images and save them in their Keens, the Google version of a board.

In a press release announcing the launch, CJ Adams, co-founder of Keen, said of the new social platform: “Keen is not meant to be a place to browse for endless hours. Instead, it's a home for your interests: a place to grow them, share them with loved ones, and find things that help make this precious life count. "

As you add search terms and curate content, Keen uses AI and machine learning to suggest only the content you're really interested in, so you can only focus on the projects that matter to you.

It's quite a departure from the M.O. from every other social media platform out there that does everything in their power to keep you scrolling, reading, sharing or pinning. With Keen, users (and marketers) have the opportunity to focus on one topic and curate only the most relevant and valuable content for it.

What is Google Keen?

Adams explained how he came up with the idea for Keen when he and his wife discovered they'd spent hours scrolling through social media without reaching anything productive:

It was powerful telling each other what we wanted to spend more time on. And as we did so, we found that gathering related ideas, links, and resources gave us the opportunity to spend more time with our shared passions in real life.

To explore this idea further, four colleagues and I created a new experiment called Keen as part of Area 120, Google's workshop for experimental projects. We developed this experiment in close collaboration with a Google team called People and AI Research (PAIR), which deals with human-centered machine learning systems.

On the surface, Google Keen looks like a stripped-down version of Pinterest. The main difference is that, according to the press release, users are not meant to be drawn into the rabbit hole of endless pinning and scrolling, but rather as a tool that allows users to curate only the content that suits their interests.

Instead of using search history from the internet to populate the suggested content like Pinterest does, it uses machine learning that focuses only on what a user explores and saves on Keen.

How does Google Keen work?

Signing up with Keen is very easy. Within minutes of signing in, which of course you can do with your Google Account, you'll be in and exploring content. Once you're signed in, the first thing to do is create a Keen. A prospect is a topic board where you curate your content.

In the following example I started with “Content Marketing”.

How does Keen work?

Once you've entered an initial search term, Google Keen will suggest search terms that you can save. These are the terms Google Keen uses to populate suggested content for you. The more you choose, the more tailored your content will be.

Google Keen Keyword Suggestion

After you've chosen your search terms, choose a cover image that suits your interest and write a description.

Once you're done, your interest will look something like this.

Select Google Keen cover photo
Google Keen by CJ Adams

This is an enthusiastic curation by CJ Adams and colleague Benjamin Pitt. The diamond icon below the cover picture indicates the number of pieces of content or gems that have been saved for that user. The lightning bolt shows how many new items there are to discover.

When you click in the sharp area, your screen will look like this.

Example of curated content from Google Keen

Under the Gems tab, you'll see everything you've already saved. The Browse tab contains content that Google Keen suggests check out. If you'd like, it'll also bring up a search tab where you can edit or add the terms that Google uses to find relevant content for you.

This is what my interest in content marketing looks like.

Content curated by Google Keen for marketing

As you explore more content and store more in your gems, the Google search algorithm gets to know you better and delivers more relevant content.

After storing more gems and organizing my interests a little more, I received more specific suggestions for my content marketing. I even saw one of my own pieces to curate!

Neil Patel content on Google Keen

When you return to your home screen, you'll find that Google Keen suggests other keens for you to explore. These also become more relevant over time as you add new keens and curate content.

You can follow these buttons and they will appear on your home screen.

If you create your own keens, you can make them public or private, or share them directly with other users.

Can you already tell the difference between Keen and Pinterest?

Google Keen vs. Pinterest

There are many aspects of Google Keen that mirror the user experience on Pinterest. The way you save and share content, create and customize keens, and discover new content is very similar to setting up Pinterest's Pins and Boards.

However, there are some fundamental differences between the two. It all boils down to Keen & # 39; s desire to be a place for pure curation of content with a clear goal.

Pinning vs. Curating

Pining on Pinterest and curating content on Keen work essentially the same way. At Keen, the content that you store in your Keens is known as Gems.

With Pinterest you can of course pin content from the internet and then organize it on boards. Within the boards you can see refined content suggestions and organize your current Pins in smaller boards that are grouped into a larger board category.

The most important thing, however, is that whatever you pin comes from other websites.

At Google Keen, you can add a lot more than just web content to your gems. You can also save text, links, and images, much like you would in Evernote or any other note-taking app.

Just like with Pinterest and their boards, you can divide your content into sections in your keens. However, they will not automatically see the suggested content in your best interest unless you navigate to the Browse tab.

While Pinterest makes it very easy to get lost in endless content suggestions, Keen deliberately makes it more work to discover content. This way you spend time curating only what is really important and productive for the user.

The social aspect of Google Keen

You can publish curated content using Pinterest and Keen. You can also share your boards and pins / keens and gems with other users.

However, you can invite other users to collaborate on Keen. For example, if you and a friend are avid gardeners, you can save both ideas for the same purpose to be used in your community garden.

However, unlike Pinterest, there are no updates from accounts you follow. There's nothing like today's picks on Pinterest and there's no messaging functionality. This way, there are fewer opportunities for recommendations from colleagues.

You will only be notified when new items are added to the Keens that are already being tracked. They're displayed under the Acumen's cover photo, next to the lightning bolt icon.


Google Keen is too new to have developed its own influencer environment, but there are influencers from other platforms who are already curating on Keen.

YouTuber Hermine Chantal, for example, has a few keens for her DIY and interior design content. She has one who deals extensively with H&M housewares. Pinterest, on the other hand, is loaded with its own influencers.

Keen offers users the opportunity to influence the platform and marketers to introduce the products to new talent.

Content Discovery at Google Keen

This is probably the biggest differentiator between Pinterest and Keen. As you know, content discovery on Pinterest is based on your searches, Pins, and Boards. However, it also shows you content that you think you will like based on your current browsing history. While you might not have pinned anything on Pinterest about tutorials on how to edit copies, you might see some cards in your home feed if you've searched for them on Google or Bing.

In 2019 Pinterest introduced two ways to refine your home feed. The first is the home feed toggle which allows you to toggle topics on and off that you've searched for in the past. The second is the pin-level controls that let you see why a Pin is showing on your feed, hide it, report it, or disregard its parent topic.

Google Keen, on the other hand, refines your content automatically. Only the search terms you have saved are used to suggest content. When you enter a search term, Keen suggests other related terms that further refine the content displayed.

More keyword suggestions at Google Keen

The more you refine your search and the more you save in your keens, the better the suggested content will suit your interests. Instead of refining your suggested content after the fact, Keen refines it before you even see it.

When you're first starting out with Keen, your Explore area may be a bit shaky as Keen doesn't have enough information to suggest targeted content. This is what my Explore area looks like in my new account right now.

Content suggestions on Google Keen

What Are the Differences Between Keen and Pinterest for Marketers?

Sharp against Pinterest for marketers

Right now, Pinterest has a much more robust set of tools for its business pages, and they're continuing to roll out more features. In September, they released their Story Pins in beta, which allows developers to combine images, videos, text overlays, and voiceovers into one pin. This allows brands to create original content exclusively for Pinterest. and unlike other social media platforms, the stories don't go away after a while.

According to TechCrunch, Pinterest is also planning on creating creator profiles so that users can learn more about a creator instead of just seeing what they've pinned. They are also working on an updated analytics dashboard.

At the moment, Keen doesn't seem to have any of this. All searches seem organic at the moment with no paid posts option.

However, this doesn't mean that none of this will come in the future. Keen is only touted as a means to help users break away from endless scrolling and focus only on what makes them really happy. In this way, however, Google can also tap the Pinterest market.

How can you use Keen to introduce your product to users?

Using Google Keen for Marketing

While Keen isn't actually designed for businesses right now, that doesn't mean marketers should completely ignore it. Right now, marketers can use Google Keen in two ways: to drive traffic and to increase conversions.

Driving traffic from Google Keen

ContentLab's John Becker points out, “When Keen takes off, it can drive traffic to your website. When people find and tag your content, that content could snow and find its way to other keens and in turn come before more and more eyes. "

So it's worth taking a look at Keen for a look at your other content offerings.

For example, hiking and backpacking blogger Frank van Oostendorp created three keens to drive traffic to his blog, Hike for Purpose.

Hiking content on Google Keen

Each interested has a title, custom image, description, and curated gems that lead straight to the posts on their blog.

Google is keen on e-commerce

Similar to Pinterest, Keen users can curate links to product pages related to their search topics. As I mentioned earlier, Chantal uses Keen to curate direct links to product pages at H&M.

E-commerce at Google Keen

If you're an influencer like Chantal, Google Keen offers the option to use affiliate links or further promote products from companies you partner with.

For brands with strong customer loyalty, Google Keen is just another way to reach your audience with keens targeted to their search on the platform.


Should you be interested in Google Keen? The answer to that question is in the air. Keen is a brand new platform with fewer users right now. So if you're an early adopter, don't get lost in a sea of ​​influencers and paid posts.

By using machine learning and curated content, you can reach your target audience in ways that other platforms like Pinterest don't allow you.

When Google released Keen, it wasn't exactly shouting from the rooftops, so overall adoption of the platform was a bit slow.

Keen is currently part of Area 120, Google's own incubator for experimental projects. If you've ever been a user of Shoelace or Rivet, you know that Google closes a lot of projects that it incubates in Area 120.

It doesn't hurt to have Google Keen in your back pocket, however. Google decides to develop the platform further. You have a head start. While other brands are just starting to grow their keens, you already have curated content, followers, and a plan to drive traffic to your other assets.

Even if it fails, you still have the option to look at content curation differently and possibly apply it to your other social accounts.

Do you think Google Keen is a good fit for your marketing strategy?