We got a look at what Chad Hurley and Steve Chen been up to since leaving YouTube, the online-video company they founded and sold to Google for $1.65 billion.It’s called Zeen, and it’s billed as an online magazine-making service.
After leaving YouTube, Hurley and Chen started an Internet-business incubator called Avos. Last year, Avos bought Delicious, an online-bookmarking service, from Yahoo and revamped it. But Hurley and Chen have also been working on in-house launches. Zeen has been the highest-profile of those.
At first, all you could do on Zeen.com was reserve a username. We did that months ago, and had kind of forgotten about Zeen—until we got the invite letting us in.
The setup is pretty standard. You connect your social accounts so you can pull in content from them—particularly photos.
Now let's get going! The first step: Pick a name for your magazine. We're obsessed with our dog, Ramona the Love Terrier, so we decided to create a magazine for her.
Here we got stuck. We wanted to pick a photo of Ramona from the Instagram account we'd connected, but we couldn't find it through search and didn't see other options. Frustrating!
The end result looks pretty, especially on tablets—you can just keep scrolling down to get the next page.
There are tons of ways to consume social content online. Zeen ends up looking like just another one. It feels like another take on Tumblr or Flipboard. To be fair, it's in private beta.
But we have a feeling Zeen's creators aren't too excited about their post-YouTube project, either. Look at Chad Hurley's Zeen page: He's only created one issue of one magazine. If he were really into Zeen, we'd expect him to be using it like crazy.