If 4chan is that sweaty high school kid with his eyes glued to his computer screen, calling people bad names, Canvas is that college kid throwing the Frisbee around outside, wearing socks and flip-flops, trying hard to make people laugh.
Canvas is a new social media website from 4chan image-board creator Christopher Poole. After eight months spent in invite-only beta mode, the site went public today.
The site allows users to upload photos and alter them using editing tools built into the site. Users can also “remix” (in other words, alter) existing images on the site by adding text or monocles, for example. They can also create their own groups.
Images can be posted anonymously but Canvas encourages people to sign-up so they can trade stickers used to like, dislike, or flag an image for removal.
Already hundreds of photos of cats wearing monocles, Disney inspired memes, and “Inception” screen grabs have been remixed and has left the Daily Dot wondering: Is Canvas just 4chan Lite?
The answer is yes and no.
Canvas has a strict code of conduct that strives to keep images “clean enough that most people wouldn't be embarrassed to be caught looking at it at work or with their family.” And from the looks of the top posts this year, and many made today, the rules are being followed. This is much different from 4chan’s most popular image board, /b/ (also know as the sites random board), which is rife with violent images, nudity, and obscene language.
Registered Canvas users can chose to post images and comments anonymously. They can also keep track of those posts, which is something anonymous 4chan users can not do. And unlike 4chan, images on Canvas will be archived.
Overall, Canvas is much more user friendly and mature than 4chan. Maybe that’s because Poole received more than $3 million in funding for the project (unlike 4chan, which was started in 2003 in Poole’s bedroom at the age of 15) or maybe it’s because Poole is eight years older and no longer a teenager.