Google has not given up on its struggling social network, Google+. Its latest effort? Hiring founder of controversial message board 4chan, Chris Poole, and having him join the team that oversees Google+. Poole made the announcement on his personal blog yesterday. The news of Poole joining Google’s Photos and Streams team was reported by Mashable.
Hiring the founder of a popular niche web community may be what Google needs as it shifts direction away from Google+ being a Facebook competitor, to a social network based on communication around targeted interests. After founding 4chan while still in high school, Poole remained at the helm until stepping down last year following the infamous celebrity photo hack.
While its content has been highly contentious at times, 4chan has built itself into one of the most visited sites on the web based purely on sharing images. According to 4chan’s advertising page, the website sees an average of 1 million posts per day with 22 million monthly active visitors. The majority of 4chan’s demographic is between the ages of 18–34, which may show Poole brings with him some expertise on targeting the millennial audience.
What exactly is in store for Poole as he joins Google is unknown at this point, aside from contributing “my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities”. Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing, confirmed on Twitter that Poole is joining their team (instead of using Google+, curiously enough).