Canvas, an online forum for sharing, remixing and commenting on images came out of private beta recently. The site was built by 4chan founder Christopher Poole (known online as “moot”) and is intended as a more interactive, less unruly version of 4chan.
On Canvas, users can upload images, edit directly in the browser and add captions. Once published, they can be remixed and commented on by other users. The site employs a badge-like system of stickers, which can be applied to images as a way of casting a vote. Drag the “LOL” sticker onto an image you thought was funny. Or you can give a cookie sticker to images that “need a little condescending acknowledgement.” Stickers contribute to aggregate totals and help determine each image’s overall popularity and placement.
Since launching in 2003, 4chan has been a breeding ground for many an Internet meme, from lolcats to rickrolling. The site, whose users often post anonymously, also hosts adult content and has been used to organize DDoS attacks and hacking attempts. With Canvas, Poole is aiming for a decidedly less controversial forum, describing itself as a “worksafe site” and requiring users to sign up using their Facebook accounts. Unlike 4chan, Canvas’s content will be archived indefinitely.
The interface is highly interactive and easy to use. Voting for (or against) images is done via dragging and dropping icons, as is the assigning of stickers. The images themselves can be modified within the browser using basic image-editing interface that even includes a Photoshop-style “clone” tool.
Unlike 4chan, Canvas’s content will be archived indefinitely. Images are grouped into categories, such as politics, photography, cute and funny. There’s even a tab dedicated entirely to animated GIFs.
Canvas has received funding from a few notable sources, including Union Square Ventures, SV Angel and Andreeson Horowitz.