Google keeps Area 120 ‘Liist’ team working on Gen Z product

As part of the layoffs, Google killed all but three Area 120 initiatives. It has now emerged that one of those projects is the “Liist” team hired by the acquisition working on a “Gen Z consumer product.”

According to TechCrunch, Google quietly acquired Liist last year for Area 120. The startup developed an app that lets you save places you see on Instagram and TikTok. The listing dates back to 2019 with the purchase occurring sometime after or around August 2022.

You can send Instagram links to Liist via the iOS share sheet or give it screenshots of Instagram posts that include tagged locations. The app also supported manual pins/saves, with custom icons.

Saved places were displayed on a map view with a social group look that allowed you to share lists (even via URL) with friends and let them vote on which saved places to go. You can also search all the lists, while a radar feature will allow you to “explore the most prominent places on the Liist”.

Historically, Area 120 projects have been developed entirely in-house by Googlers. The origin of the rental takeover is quite curious, as the app was shut down at the end of 2022. It had “X00k active users and raised 7-figure VC investment.” Meanwhile, the team that joined Google is now tasked with “building[ing] a GenZ consumer product.”

As the surviving Area 120 project, that product is supposed to graduate to Google later this year. Past efforts have been added to existing products, but anything coming out of the Liist team looks like it could be a standalone app. (Google Maps would be the other natural landing spot.)

Meanwhile, the other two products that have made it are Aloud to let YouTube creators “quickly and easily dub their videos into multiple languages” and Checks to help Android and iOS app developers with privacy compliance.

There are no details on the PDF Stack scanner, which was presumably canceled and had great crossover potential with Google Drive.

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