Social Media

Google’s new experimental DIY video app is like TikTok and Pinterest had a baby

How-to videos are part of nearly every social media platform, from Facebook to YouTube, but a new Google experiment gives short DIY videos a network all to themselves. Tangi, a project from Google’s lab, Area 120, is a network dedicated to short DIY videos, hacks, and tutorials.

In a home screen that looks eerily similar to the DIY-champ Pinterest, Tangi houses one-minute-or-less video tutorials. The videos, all in the smartphone-friendly vertical orientation, aim to turn what would normally be a long how-to article into easy-to-follow video tutorials.

Tapping on a video, users can like, share, or comment. On the app, clicking on the “try it” allows users to upload their own photos and comments on how well the tutorial worked for them. Shortcuts allow you to find “more like this,” while hashtags and categories also help organize the platform’s videos.

Coco Mao, the team leader on the Tangi project, said the idea came when she saw how her “smartphone-challenged” mother had learned how to paint by following video tutorials. “We’ve been working with creators who already make these kinds of videos, so that Tangi can become a place where they have a voice to inspire other makers,” Mao wrote in a blog post. “Tangi’s focus on creativity and community is the biggest draw for them. They’ve been able to experiment with new ways to take their creativity to the next level.”

Tangi — a name inspired by the word tangible and a sort-of-not-really acronym for TeAch aNd GIve — already houses videos on art, cooking, DIY, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. A like serves as a sort of bookmark, since the user profile houses a list of liked videos.

Tangi feels like a hyper-focused Pinterest, with less personal organization, that houses TikTok-like how-to videos. Social networks have been trying to compete with the China-based TikTok’s rapid growth with new video and music features. Tangi is less lip-sync and dance videos, and more artistic inspiration. The DIY focus, however, will likely garner a much different audience than TikTok, which is most popular among teens and young adults.

Tangi is live and available as a free iOS app or from any web browser by visiting tangi.co. The platform is open for likes and shares, but uploads are not yet available for every user. (You can tell Google you want in on the uploads by signing up for the waitlist.)

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