Did Google just hire 4Chan's founder to revive its social efforts?


A fan of 4Chan? Like Google+? On second thought, don't answer that last question. Just prepare for the two worlds to collide.

Google is bringing on Chris Poole, who founded the popular online community (you know which one) when he was 15, in a new role that's not yet known. It will, however, likely have something to do with resurrecting Google+, or helping to start a new social effort entirely.

Poole, a.k.a. moot, announced his hire in a blog post. He said: "I can't wait to contribute my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities, and to begin the next chapter of my career at such an incredible company."

Bradley Horowitz, who runs Google's social arm, confirmed Poole's hire on Twitter.

"You may have seen the news from @moot," Horowitz wrote. "Thrilled he's joining the team! Welcome Chris!"

Google has largely left its social network to rot on the vine, and it likely hopes Poole will give it the fresh, community-based perspective it desperately needs. If memes and other shareable content is what Google wants, Poole is probably the person to deliver it.

We can "thank" 4Chan for many things that make the internet great, no least of which are lolcats and Rickrolling.

But it's not without its controversies, largely stemming from the image and message boards' anonymous nature and loose rules. 4Chan has shut down boards that many would find offensive, Variety notes.

We doubt Google will go the anonymous route with its social network. Further organizing users into categories of interest seems a smart way for Google+ (or whatever it's called) to stand out from Facebook and Twitter.

May's IO conference is probably too soon to see Poole's influence on Google's online community efforts, but perhaps he'll make quick work of whatever it is Google wants to achieve.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.