YouTube Founders Launching Magazine Publishing App Site “Zeen”

Author: Abe
April 9, 2012

This is intriguing! YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who now run AVOS, have launched a site/service called “Zeen” which offers to help you “Discover & Create Beautiful Magazines”. Is it a site? A mobile app? A social media service? No one knows as of yet, and the startup is being secretive so far, although it is already allowing people to sign up in advance, providing custom vanity URLs to those who do so.

Zeen Magazines publishingThe Zeen name is a play on words referring to the “Zine“, which is a type of small, self-published magazine which usually focuses on some very narrow interest area. The ‘zine — obviously shortened from “magazine” — also has connotations somewhat amateur publication quality and of esoteric or highly specialized interests which would only appeal to a relatively small number of people (with obviously lower circulation numbers). The name also seems to connote the word “Seen” as well.

I would conjecture that the Zeen service will indeed be a mobile phone app as well as a full website, and will facilitate easy creation of bloglike online magazines around specific themes, similar to Tumblr and Pinterest. I’d also bet that it will be embedded with some compelling social media features which encourage community behavior and sharing (the service already appears to have some sort of tie-ins intended with Facebook and Twitter).

I’m wondering if the service is geared towards creating themed collections of photos which people snap via their mobile phones, or if it may be intended for collecting mobile phone video snippets…

Whatever the case, this is a very interesting development and one which I will be watching closely as new information emerges.


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