Christopher Poole, founder of the popular imageboard 4chan, has unveiled his latest project for the first time. Canvas, an image sharing website, is currently in a limited beta for now, and invites are slowly being released to those who signed up beforehand. The Canvas team, however, are quick to stress that today's release is "just a kernel of our long-term vision for the site."
Having secured $625,000 worth of funding from some of the world's top investors, Canvas represents Poole's vision of "a re-imagination of the online community - a look at what forums might be if they were invented today." 4chan currently receives around 8 million unique visitors per month, and with such widespread success communities are keen to see how Poole hopes to improve on the current format. Poole, however, doesn't want Canvas to be seen as 4chan's successor. Speaking to Mashable, Poole clarified: "[Canvas] is not meant to be 4chan 2.0, but it is in a similar space…it’s a more mainstream photo site"
Canvas, like 4chan, is anonymous, but users must create an account to get started. The site is based around "remixing" images, where a user initially posts an image and lets other users modify the original (there's a built-in Remix Editor) or add stickers to it. Stickers, similar to tags, help to define content by giving the user a predefined set of descriptions (such as "LOL") that they can "stick" onto images. Stickers should prove to be invaluable in the future, as unlike 4chan content is archived. While Canvas is limited to images for the time being, Poole is planning to add more creative formats, such as audio and video.
As the site is only open to a lucky few for now, the team have pointed out that you can still keep up with the project's development on their Twitter. Canvas plan to allow members to invite their friends eventually, so those without an invite may not have to sit in the dark for too long on what could become the next big thing.