January 15, 2013

Branch Opens Conversation Threads to the Public


Backed by Twitter's co-founders, Branch, a new platform focused on creating a discussion platform that will turn the Internet's monologues into dialogues, has decided to allow any user to have conversations of over 140 characters.

The recently introduced Branch is a modern, user-friendly version of an Internet forum where people create "branches" to discuss topics and invite friends to participate. Additionally, using Branch, thread participants can “branch off” into their own separate conversations.

"Curated groups of people are invited to engage around issues in which they are knowledgeable. This service holds the promise of a new platform for dialogue on the Web—a necessary departure from the monologues we have grown so accustomed to reading online,” explained Twitter and Obvious Corporation Co-Founder Biz Stone in a blog post.

Image via Shutterstock

The San Francisco-based startup is backed by Obvious, the hybrid of Twitter creators Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Last March, Obvious unveiled that it was lending its celebrity and product expertise to the company.  “When the founders of Blogger and Twitter presented us with an opportunity for partnership I could not help but feel as if everything was coming full circle,” wrote Co-Founder and CEO of Branch Josh Miller.

How does it work? Well, the Branch prompt box nudges the user to talk about a topic or paste a link. Then, upon hitting the next button, he or she can add more points to help focus the conversation.

Before today’s announcement, Branch required an invite to participate, but with the public launch, it is targeting the mainstream audience. The service has introduced regular, people-friendly features, including an easier way to start branches, a view of recent activity and a view highlights to identify passages.

"Many of us know the Internet as a seemingly limitless source of information, but information is not knowledge," Stone wrote. "We'd like to see the Web evolve to a point where we get smarter when we spend time engaging."




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo



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