YouTube co-founders working on a magazine service called Zeen [UPDATED]


It looks like you’ll soon be able to discover and create “beautiful” magazines online.  In the last 24 hours, YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who now run AVOS, posted a “Coming Soon” page on the website Zeen (a take on the word zine, which commonly refers to a narrowly focused self-published magazine).

While very few details are available, you can apply for a vanity URL such as

After you’ve signed up, a message appears that says, “We’re really excited to show you what we’ve been working on, and we’ll send you an email when it’s ready to go. In the meantime, we sent you an email to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email so we know you’re you! Bye till then!”

I happened to discover the website after noticing the domain name (Whois) was “privately” acquired by the brand protection company MarkMonitor.  Curious to see where the name was going to land, I checked back occasionally.  The domain didn’t resolve to a web page until today.  AVOS looks to have also purchased other zeen domain names like (Whois), (Whois), and even (Whois).

If you snoop around the website’s Privacy Policy page and view the home page source code, you can learn a bit more about the service.

For example, you can already find Zeen on Twitter (@zeen_com) and on Facebook, although both pages are relatively new and have little to no information.  You can also secure your username using your Facebook or Twitter account.

The “Information Sharing and Disclosure” section on the Privacy page offers more clues about the site’s yet-to-be revealed features.

  • Registered Users. When you register through the Site and create a profile webpage, you will be prompted to enter certain Personal Information and to create a username. Your name, if you’ve provided it or if it has been provided because you connected using a third-party SNS (see Third Party Social Networking Services below) and username will be listed publicly on our Service as will any other information you provide as part of your profile. Note that your email address will not be publicly visible unless you choose to add it as part of your profile information (see Sharing Member Content With Others below for more information on when your email address may be shared).
  • Adding Content to the Service. If you choose to add content to the Service, including without limitation links, images, videos, text, sound, comments, notes or tags (any and all of the foregoing “Member Content”), such content will be publicly viewable via the Service. Your username will also be publicly associated with any Member Content you add.
  • Sharing Member Content With Others. In certain instances you may be able to elect to share Member Content with others. In such instances, the person with whom you choose to share Member Content will receive an email notification that you wish to share Member Content with them and that email will originate from the email address associated with your account and therefore that email address will be viewable by the recipient and associated with your username.
  • Aggregate Information and Non-Identifying Information. We may share aggregated information that does not include Personal Information and we may otherwise disclose Non-Identifying Information and Log Data with third parties for industry analysis, demographic profiling and other purposes.  Any aggregated information shared in these contexts will not contain your Personal Information.
  • Searching Using Email Addresses. We may allow users to search by email address for others who use the Service and that could enable someone to find your Zeen account if they know your email address.
  • Third Party Social Networking Services. Registered users may link their accounts with certain third party social networking services (“SNSs”) and doing so may associate Personal Information from that SNS with your account on the Service, for instance, your name.  If you choose to link your account with an SNS then, with your permission and on your behalf, we will share your Personal Information, including, but not limited to, information contained in your profile and any Member Content with the applicable SNS.  Through use of such SNS’s APIs we also receive certain information (which may include your Personal Information) in accordance with the privacy settings you have set in your SNS account, if any.  Other than what we may share with the SNS in connection with your linking of accounts, the personal information an SNS has about you is obtained by the SNS independent of our Service.  Other services follow different rules regarding the use or disclosure of the personal information you submit to them.  We encourage you to read the privacy policies or statements of the other services you use. If you link an SNS account to your Zeen account on the Service then, depending on the settings you have selected on the SNS, users of that SNS may be able to search for and find your linked account on the Service and/or use that SNS to view your activity on the Service. We will not post any information to an SNS on your behalf without first obtaining your consent.

There are plenty of websites that allow you to create your own zine, so it should be interesting to see how the YouTube co-founders, who also own the social bookmarking service Delicious, plan to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Chad Hurley was recently interviewed by The Next Web but made no mention of “Zeen”.

[Update 2 June 20, 2012 at 3:12PM EST:. The Next Web is reporting that Zeen will launch next week.]

[Update 1 April 7 at 8:00AM EST:. Minutes ago, Zeen posted their first messages to Facebook and Twitter, saying, “Hello world! You’ll soon be able to discover and create beautiful magazines with us. Secure your username now at”]

Discussion: VentureBeat, PC Magazine, Techmeme, The Verge, The Next Web, CNET, Digital Trends, Betabeat, Electronista, WebProNews, Hacker News, Venture Beat, Business Insider, PC Magazine,,, DonanimHaber, Webrazzi, Bitelia, Macity, MediaPost,, The Guardian, Digital Trends and Blogosfere