THE CHAPS behind Twitter have launched two sharing web sites that they hope will enjoy the same success.
Ev Williams and Biz Stone have launched Branch and Medium from their money fund, The Obvious Corporation, and expect them to have an immediate impact on the market.
Both web sites are destinations for sharing. Branch is billed as "a new way to talk to each other" and lets users create tree-like chat structures that take links and discussion in stride.
It is, as far as we can see, linked chats that rely on expert opinion, easier said than done in the online world. Branch has been around for a little while, but has now pulled out of beta and is open to new users. New users with something to say, that is. On paper it sounds not dissimilar to other services, like Google hangouts, for example, where users can chat and interact with experts.
"We value the diverse perspectives the internet gives us access to, but we also know that too many voices can make things noisy. So on Branch, you can pick who you talk to-but, like blog posts, branches are public, so you don't miss out on the openness of the web," wrote head of product at Branch Josh Miller in a blog post.
"And we've recently added a feature called 'branching' to the product; it's like Github's forking meets traditional threading. We know it's important to be connected to the rest of the web, so we made sure you can grab anything from the web, talk about it with anyone, and publish it anywhere."
Medium, which is introduced personally by Ev Williams, has an air of Tumblr about it, and is designed to make it easier for people to share things - images and links, for example - that they want to share.
Mediums can be open or closed, depending on the user, and the service is still in beta and not open to all.
"Posting on Medium (not yet open to everyone) is elegant and easy, and you can do so without the burden of becoming a blogger or worrying about developing an audience. All posts are organized into 'collections,' which are defined by a theme and a template," said Williams.
"Together, the contributions of many add up to create compelling and useful experiences. You may be inspired to post one time or several times a day-either way is okay. If you're more ambitious, you might create a collection of your own."
Both Branch and Medium are available to use by invitation only at present. µ
It's time for our regular two-step through the Google news
Bug bounty offer: accepted