Google is hoping that the man behind one of the Internet’s most popular link-sharing sites can help boost its own photo and social sharing features.
Chris Poole started 4Chan at the age of 15 from his bedroom. In the decade following, the site amassed a user base of 20 million, spawned a barrage of viral Internet memes, and repeatedly attracted controversy due to the wild and unrestricted, behavior of parts of its community. The dark side of the popular image-and-link-sharing website was responsible for the Fappening, and the site was even investigated by authorities after a mass shooting in Oregon.
Having run 4Chan independently for over ten years before leaving in 2015, Poole once described himself as “the loneliest web master in the world.” Judging from his blog post announcing his new role at Google, Poole was always in search of some human company.
“When meeting with current and former Googlers, I continually find myself drawn to their intelligence, passion, and enthusiasm — as well as a universal desire to share it with others,” says Poole.
“I’m also impressed by Google’s commitment to enabling these same talented people to tackle some of the world’s most interesting and important problems.”
So what exactly will Poole be doing at the world’s most valuable company? Well, that’s not exactly clear at present. What we do know is that he will be working under Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of streams, photos, and sharing. Reports claim that Poole will use his 4Chan experience to assist with communities on Google’s ailing social network, Google+. Additionally, he could also help build social-sharing functions for Google Photos, which was successfully spun off as a standalone product from Google+ last year.
Although Poole may be viewed as a wild card within Google, his unrestricted approach to social may unlock a wealth of opportunities in a sector the Web giant has struggled to come to grips with.