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4chan Founder Unveils 'Canvas' Imageboard to Limited Audience

4chan founder Christopher Poole has just launched his latest site, Canvas, to a select group of invitees. Canvas, at its most basic level and much like 4chan, provides users with a forum for discussion. Members post content to the site, others chime in, and the conversation snowballs from there. All user identities remain anonymous, but, unlike 4chan, all content is archived and recorded on individual profiles. The site launched yesterday with roughly 4,000 users, all of whom had requested beta invitations over the course of the last few months.

For now, the site has limited its scope to images. Users are encouraged to upload photos, and add their own variations on other pics. Unlike other photo-sharing sites, however, the pictures shared on Canvas tend to be photoshopped in bizarre, and conversation-starting ways. [Ed. Note: Think dump.fm.] After an image is uploaded to the site, users may submit their own doctored versions of the same photo, or show their approval by attaching visual icons to the thread. This metadata allows the site to determine the most popular discussions, which it displays in list format.

Although Canvas appears to revolve around the same kind of content fluidity that 4chan thrives on, Poole insists that the two are distinctly different entities. The 23-year-old also claims that the site is very much a work in progress, and that he and his collaborators plan to add other elements to the platform, including rich text, audio and video. "This is just the kernel of the long term vision, Canvas is all about collaboration" Poole told TechCrunch. "Canvas is all about discovery, sharing and play."

Tags: 4chan, beta, canvas, christopher poole, ChristopherPoole, discussion, forums, launch, photos, photoshop, startup, top, Web