Here's A Look At The Secret New Project From YouTube's Cofounders

Steve Chen and Chad HurleyLooking past YouTube.

Photo: Twettey.com

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.

Exciting! Here's our invite.

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.

Now we're making an issue out of it.

Then a colour scheme. Red, brown, blue, or green?

Maybe red?

Nah, brown.

Next, pick a title for the issue.

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!

OK, we're done with setup—time to add some pages!

We just went through our Instagram account and picked a bunch of adorable dog photos, as one does.

Now we had a table of contents, showing our canine fixation.

The end result looks pretty, especially on tablets—you can just keep scrolling down to get the next page.

Our takeaway? We weren't that excited.

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.

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