Zeen, YouTube founders’ venture into online publishing, will be unveiled next week

20 Jun 2012

Speaking at LeWeb 2012 in London, Chad Hurley finally gave curious techies a tidbit of information on the mysterious Zeen, revealing that the online publishing service will launch next week.

Zeen first hit the internet’s radar in April, and its teasing splash page offers little information other than this will be a place to ‘discover and create beautiful magazines’. Currently, visitors to the site are offered nothing more than the opportunity to reserve a username with a Zeen.com URL.

The site’s Twitter and Facebook pages are just as muted, so for two months now the site and its purpose has been shrouded in mystery.

The veil is soon to be lifted, though, as Hurley announced at LeWeb that the service will launch next week.

YouTube founders to disrupt another industry?

Quite possibly the next big thing in online publishing, Zeen comes from AVOS, a one-year-old internet company from YouTube co-founders Hurley and Steve Chen.

Given the pedigree of its founders, and their reputation for having revolutionised online video, the smart guess is that Zeen could be set to disrupt the publishing industry in a massive way – only no one outside of the project knows how.

Could this be a YouTube for online magazines, a bright new platform for user-generated content? Or will it follow the trend of aggregated dailies, like Paper.li? Of course, we are expecting more from Hurley and Chen, but all we can do is wait and see.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.