Get creative with Tangi, Area 120’s latest experiment

Get creative with Tangi, Area 120’s latest experiment thumbnail

Coco Mao

Team Lead, Tangi

Published Jan 29, 2020

Last time I went home to see my parents in Shanghai, I found them watching lots of how-to videos on painting and photography on their phone—even though I had considered them to be “smartphone challenged.” My mom has always had a creative side, and I was surprised to learn that she’s now an amateur oil painter thanks to these niche communities with quick how-to videos.

Coco's mom painting

Coco’s mom trying out new watercolor techniques and the painting up close.

I too joined some of these vibrant creative communities that make videos about cooking and fashion. I noticed something magical in these videos: They could quickly get a point across—something that used to take a long time to learn with just text and images. 

Last year, our small team within Area 120, Google’s lab for experimental projects, started building Tangi. It’s an experimental social video sharing app with quick DIY videos that help people learn new things every day. Tangi is where creative people can get new ideas and connect with other passionate people like them. The name is inspired by the words TeAch aNd GIve and “tangible”—things you can make.


Tangi inspires people to try creative projects like art, DIY, cooking, fashion and beauty. The videos are vertically oriented on your phone.

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. 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. For example, Holly shows easy DIY projects and Rachel tells amazing stories through her portrait drawings.

Examples of what you can find on Tangi

Holly Grace shows you how to make vintage planters (left). Rachel Faye Carter invites our community to get drawn by her and an example drawing (right).

Whether you love crafting, cooking, cosmetics or clothing, Tangi has 60 second videos to help you try something new—and a place to share it back too. You can also share a re-creation of things you tried out with Tangi’s “Try It” feature, which helps build a community between creators and their fans. One of our most recreated videos is making guacamole in the avocado shell.


“Try It” within Tangi lets you share back recreations of what you made, like this Guacamole Hack from CammysKitchen.

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