Google debuts Spaces, their new group sharing app

Google Spaces

Luke Wroblewski for Google:

When someone shares something new to a space, the conversational view lets you see what the group is talking about without missing a beat.  And if you ever want to find something that was shared earlier—articles, videos, comments or even images—a quick search lets you pull it up in a snap.

Google’s Spaces comes too little, too late in my opinion. The pitch for the app is that people need a way to keep all their shared items and conversations in one convenient place. The issue with that is that people have already found solutions to this issue. Current messaging apps do a pretty great job of keeping these conversations organized to that point where Spaces really isn’t needed.

That said, Spaces isn’t without merit. The use of Material Design is pretty solid, even on iOS. The app functions well and doesn’t need much from users to get up and running. The baked-in Google Search and YouTube is also really nice and makes the experience pretty frictionless. This is clearly something the company is getting more and more interested in doing as we’ve also seen Search make its way into Google’s recent Gboard iOS keyboard replacement.

In many ways, Spaces is a rethinking of Google+’s Collections feature which, like most things features within the social network, hasn’t seen a ton of traction from the rest of the online world not using the service on a regular basis. Sadly, I feel like Spaces may be destined for the same fate. The design is nice and intuitive. Again, mimicking Google’s social network in many ways. If you’re a fairly active G+ user, Spaces might be just what the doctor ordered but, for the rest of us, there isn’t a ton of reason to move the party over to this new app, at least not yet.