Branch and Medium (the two new social networking projects from Obvious Corp’s Ev Williams and Biz Stone) look very interesting at first glance. Especially Branch.
Williams and Stone have superb pedigrees as the founders of Blogger (now owned by Google) and Twitter. So Branch and Medium will be worth considering for your social media strategy:
Branch aims to make conversations more connected and easier to follow than those on Twitter.
Conversations in Branch are threaded more logically thanks to the “Branch this” button on each post. You can share links, photos, videos and tweets.
A bookmarklet allows you to take import a conversation from Twitter to Branch in “a few clicks”.
Posts (branches) go beyond Twitter’s 140-character limit. The ethos is simple: “Grab anything from the web (or jot down whatever is on your mind). Talk about it with anyone (add people via email or Twitter). Publish it anywhere.”
Branches can be embedded in blogs such as WordPress and Tumblr or in a content management system (CMS).
Initial examples of branches show some sensible debate…but unfortunately there is also a dose of the waffle often found on Facebook and Twitter.
Google+ fans will also spot some similarities with Circles.
Verdict: Branch looks pretty compelling – it has SEO potential. Let’s just hope its level of debate doesn’t get crushed beneath the hooves of a stampeding Twitter herd arriving en masse.
Medium looks pleasant enough but appears somewhat underwhelming at first glance. This collection-focused site’s similarities with Pinterest are more than a tad obvious (no pun intended, OK maybe intended a little).
So what is the point of it?
Biz Stone wrote in his intro to Medium: “Thirteen years ago we helped democratize publishing with a web-native approach called blogging. That was a long time ago and everything is different now… we felt compelled to build a content network for the technology age we’re living in now.
“There is so much room for improvement and innovation in the publishing space right now because it’s operating on outdated legacy concepts. Everything from the way we consume content to how that content is created needs re-imagining.”
Anyone with a Twitter account can read and give feedback on Medium but posting is limited to a select list of invitees. You can register to join though.
Verdict: Medium risks being dismissed offhand as a Pinterest clone but if the functionality is linked well to Branch then it offers potential for your Twitter strategy. And again, there are SEO opportunities.
But more importantly, what do you think?
Will you be using Branch, Medium or both? Which is better? (No Harry Hill “fight” gags please!)
For more information about how the Intergage web marketing agency can help you with your social media strategy, contact Marketing Executive Emma Barrow.
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