Tangi is Google’s take on quick DIY tutorials

Area 120 has created something new; Tangi is a social video sharing platform for all things creative. So what makes it different from Pinterest and Instagram, I hear you ask?

Google Tangi
Tangi invites creators and artists to share ‘how-to’ 60-second videos. Image: Google

What is Tangi?

The name in itself sounds a little unusual. Tangi was formed from the words ‘Teach and Give’ and also refers to ‘tangible’ i.e. things you can create. The concept is to make learning new skills more accessible and to allow creators and artists to share their craft.

In contrast with other social media platforms, this is not a place to showcase your products, or to sell anything. The whole idea is about sharing knowledge and helping others to learn from your expertise. Google explains Tangi as:

“An experimental social video sharing app with quick DIY videos that help people learn new things every day.”

The art of DIY

Head over to Pinterest or Instagram and you will find an enormous catalog of videos. These show you anything, from cookery recipes, exercise ideas through to make up tutorials.

At a glance, Tangi isn’t really anything different – or is it?

The idea came from Coco Mao, the Team Lead at Tangi. Mao says that he came up with the concept after visiting his parents in Shanghai when he was surprised to find that they were learning painting and photography from watching videos on their phones.

I think the main difference here is the bite-sized learning it offers. Every Tangi video is 60-seconds or less. Blink and you’ll miss an instruction guide, although I’d expect there are series planned. Perhaps you will be able to learn one small element of a project at a time.

My thinking is that Google is trying to do what nobody else has really achieved which is to tap into the older generation.

Google Tangi
Tangi videos are vertically oriented and designed for mobile use. Image: Google


We all know that social media is predominantly used by the younger generations and the stats quantify this. Social media users aged 55-64 make up just 6% of the total, and 18% of users are aged over 45.

The data is taken from Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.

Of those social media platforms, Facebook has by far the highest older user demographic with 15% aged 45-54 and a further 9% aged 55-64.

This leaves a huge gap in the market. When we consider the potential audience of social media users aged over 45, there is an enormous pool of people. Most have smartphones, tend to be more affluent than younger people, and therefore make ideal consumers.

However, they do not tend to use social media. Tangi was designed on the basis of providing creative content in an accessible medium that relates to the older generation. So is this concept about drawing in that huge chunk of the market to something they can see a tacit benefit in?

Experimental technology

I think Area 120 is a fantastic idea. It allows Google developers to explore creativity and introduce new, experimental ideas.

In the same way as Experiment with Google, this gives new ideas and ways of thinking a place to flourish and be supported.

Whether Tangi will take off, we don’t yet know. I like the idea, and could certainly do with learning some new cookery tips! Perhaps this is the backlash from ‘Pinterest fails’, and rather than delivering content which the average user can’t really replicate, it will be something empowering and truly educational.

Will it turn out to be another advertising portal, or medium for targeted advertising? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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