Google Keen 101: What Is It and How to Use It

What are you keen on? 

Google wants to power your passions with its latest digital product: Keen. Since Google launched this digital content curator in June 2020, the media has been referring to it as Google’s answer to Pinterest. 

You may remember that Google has tried to venture into social media before with Google+ — and they failed.

Will Keen be able to succeed where Google+ failed? Will it be a legitimate challenger to Pinterest? That will all depend on whether people find it useful. 

Here we’ll explore:

  • What Google Keen is
  • How to create a Keen
  • What features you can find on a Keen
  • How to add content to a Keen

What is Keen?

Keen is a new, Pinterest-like platform from Google that lets you collect and share ideas on topics that you’re interested in. Keen provides users with personalized recommendations based on web searches they select and content they upload.

The platform was created by Google’s Area 120 and PAIR teams. According to Co-Founder CJ Adams, unlike other social media platforms, the goal of Keen isn’t to keep users scrolling away for hours. Instead, it’s a tool that helps you fuel your interests by giving you a place to save and revisit what you find inspiring.

The tool boasts three capabilities: 

  • Creating
  • Curating
  • Collaborating

Users create “Keens”, which are akin to Pinterest’s Boards. They can curate content by saving articles that Keen suggests or uploading links, images, and text. Users can make their Keens public, share them with friends, and invite others to collaborate and add content.

How to Create a Keen

Here’s how to make your first Keen:

  1. Visit staykeen.com and sign in to your Google account.
  2. From the homepage, click the encircled plus sign at the top of the page.
  3. Type in something you want to spend more time learning about, like how to “build a small business website”, then click Next.
  1. Now you can select searches that are related to your topic and add your own.
  1. Finalize your Keen by adding a cover image, writing a description, selecting privacy options, and opting in to emails about new content suggestions.

Google Keen Features

Keens you create will consist of three tabs: 

  • Gems 
  • Explore 
  • Searches 

Explore suggests web content to check out based on the searches you save and the content you add. Save your favorite content from the Explore tab by clicking the gem icon on the bottom-right of each link’s featured image. 

Saved content will move to the Gems tab. When you save suggested content, Keen will populate the Explore tab with new suggestions, based on your preferences.

The Searches tab displays the search terms you have saved and lets you add new ones.

How to Add Content to a Keen

Add new sections and content to your Keen by clicking the +Add button below your Keen’s description. 

Then, select one of the three options:

  • Links, text & photos: Add links, text content, images, mentions, and tags to your Keen.

  • Add from search: Search new terms and handpick articles to add to your Keen.
  • New section: Sections help you organize your saved content. Give your new section a name and a description. New sections appear in the Gems tab, above the Saved section. 

So, will Google’s Keen have more long-term success than Google+? Will it rival Pinterest? Only time will tell. In the meantime, give it a try and use it to save inspiration for your passion project, blog, or business.

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Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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