Google launches another product/service! Yes, you read it correct. Either Google knows something which the rest of the web world does not or Google is struggling with mid-life crisis. This latest product/service launched by them is called Schemer (Wow!?). It is billed as an ‘Activity Recommendation Engine’. Currently this service is in an invitation-only private beta mode.
You can register yourself here and wait for an invitation.
Recently, Google+ the team behind Schemer introduced the product to the public. The product will allow people to communicate online with fellow ‘schemers’ and discover, schedule or plan and share various activities which they can engage in the offline world. It sounds quite similar to Foursquare and uncannily similar to Sosh. Is Google challenging Foursquare with this product or simply aping Facebook? You can save activities you would like to do and also mark activities you have already done. Your friends will be able to see these and can connect with you regarding the same. Over a period of time Schemer will recommend you activities or (as Google would now prefer to call it) ‘schemes’ based on your earlier experiences, location and various other factors.
Schemer will eventually be integrated into Google+ to improve the user experience and help users connect with friends in the real world as well. So you can plan exactly what you want to do over the weekend on Schemer with your friend. You can also learn from the experiences of fellow ‘schemers’. A smooth integration with Google+ will be a crucial element for the success of Schemer. As an integral part of Google+ Schemer could serve an important role and in fact improve the user experience by increasing engagement and interaction. As a standalone product Schemer will find it hard to attract users. Foursquare and other similar social networking services/apps already have a huge set of loyal followers.
To begin with Google has teamed up with quite a few excellent sources for possible ‘schemes’. The list includes Entertainment Weekly, GeekDad/GeekMom, National Geographic, Time Out, Rolling Stone, Zagat, etc. Schemer shared a ‘Circle’ in their Google+ post, which consists of all the partners and encouraged users to join the circle to keep abreast with all updates and also to get invites to join Schemer.
Are you active on Foursquare? What do you think about Schemer? Do you think Schemer can add to the Google+ experience?