Twitter founders branch out with two new websites
16 August 2012
Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone have launched two new social networking sites, Branch and Medium, as they look to prompt an “evolutionary leap” in online sharing.
In a similar way to microblogging platform Twitter, both Medium and Branch are publishing platforms that invite users to share content including images, articles and text.
Branch, which is coming out of its private beta stage and will begin sending invitations to the public, is a topic-based social network which aims to ‘combine the intimacy of a dinner table conversation with the power of the internet’.
With Branch, users can sign in via their Twitter account, take content from anywhere across the web, talk about it with anyone and publish it anywhere. It aims to be a place where users can talk about things that are happening in the world.
It seeks to be a place for Twitter users to have more in-depth conversations with each other. Users can start their own ‘branch’ and invite other Twitter users to join, without the need to set up a separate Branch account.
“Between articles, blog posts and tweets, the internet is dominated by monologues,” says Branch head of product Josh Miller. “So we want to build a home for dialogues online, by combining the intimacy of a dinner table conversation with the power of the internet.”
Medium, still in its invite-only stage, is a place for users to start a collection and publish their own writing or photos. It appears as a grid format and the highest-ranked post will always stay at the top.
Again, it is accessible using a Twitter account but the idea is that people can read, view and vote on content without having to develop their own audience. A user creates a collection, but anyone with a Twitter account can contribute and the prominence of the collection is based on how many people vote on it.
“Medium is designed to allow people to choose the level of contribution they prefer,” says Williams. “We know that most people, most of the time, will simply read and view content, which is fine. If they choose, they can click to indicate whether they think something is good, giving feedback to the creator and increasing the likelihood others will see it.”
Williams and Stone are both still directors of Twitter, but have undertaken the new ventures through San Francisco-based incubator fund The Obvious Corporation.
“Our philosophy is that quality begets quality, so we will grow Medium smartly, ensuring that our platform is valuable to everyone in this increasingly mobile, connected and noisy world,” says Williams.
Jenni Baker, London