Will Branch fit into crowded social networking world?
New conversation site wants users to share with social heavyweights - Facebook, Twitter
Computerworld - The social networking world may be a busy place with users loyal to their favorites, but a co-founder of start-up Branch says his new network should easily blend in.
"We absolutely see ourselves as being complimentary to everything else," said Josh Miller, who co-founded Branch, a new social discussion site. "We don't like the way that other companies point out negatives about other sites. We think Twitter is amazing. We think Facebook is amazing.... I think we'll fit right in."
Branch, which is in public beta with invitations only available by request, is a site focused on helping people have online conversations. On the site, users are able to pick who they want to talk with. Users also can try to be added to a conversation by clicking on an "Ask to Join" button.
"It's like putting people in a room together and having them talk," Miller told Computerworld. "They're swapping messages like they would in email or IM or around the table. It's all about talking to people you know."
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, agrees that there is room for Branch to fit into the social networking world.
"Branch fills a gap opened by Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Quora to enable high-quality conversations without the noise," he said. "It also takes advantage of the desire for more intimate, private conversations of self-selected groups.... Branch is trying to find a way to lower the signal-to-noise ratio of babblers to meaningful participants."
Even so, Jim McGregor, an analyst with TIRIAS Research, said that with so many social tools already available, Branch could find it difficult to get any traction.
"Conversations could be done with the tools that are available today, namely Facebook and Twitter," said McGregor. "I think this is more of a solution looking for a problem than the other way around. At this point, there are so many tools available that I think it is going to be difficult for any newcomer to standout from the crowd, not to mention finding a way to make money at it."
Branch, though, has a lot of support. The business is backed by Obvious Corp., the company piloted by Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams.
On Branch, conversations are open to the public, though, at this point, the site doesn't have a way to search for users or particular conversation topics. However, the main page on the site lists the day's hot topics, like Hiking the Grand Canyon, Berlin Trip Tips and Advice for Friends Who Feel Stuck in their Careers.
Miller noted that Branch conversations also are Google-able.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Social Media White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!