Could Medium & Branch revolutionise the way we use the web?
Twitter founders Evan Williams & Biz Stone announce launch of new content-aggregation platform.
Thirteen years after introducing Blogger and six years after giving Twitter to the world, Evan Williams and Biz Stone have launched Medium and Branch as they look to make another “evolutionary leap” in publishing.
Both of the new publishing platforms promise an exciting experience for users, whose content will gain more exposure if it is rated by readers, or sink to the bottom of the pile if it isn’t.
But how exactly will Branch and Medium work?
While Medium is currently invite-only, it will eventually become a place for users to collate all of their favourite written and rich media content into collections, some of which will be closed, some open. These collections will appear in grid format, much like Pinterest.
Combining the curation aspects of Pinterest and Stumble, and the user democracy of sites like Reddit and Digg, Medium aims to help users sift through the noise and avoid poor-quality content, and find the stuff that they’re interested in, quickly.
In Ev’s own words: “We believe that good design supports the purpose (not just the appeal) of content, so Medium is diverse in look and feel—ranging from different types of articles to images to, eventually, much more.”
Medium offers users various levels of engagement, from simply sitting back to watch and read, to voting on the content they like, or to going even further and uploading their own and others’ content to the platform.
A bold but exciting claim, Williams says that with Medium, they are “re-imagining publishing in an attempt to make an evolutionary leap”.
Branch is a place where Twitter users can have focused, multi-way conversations, by starting their own branch and inviting other users to join in the conversation.
Branch users will also be able to pull in content from anywhere to support their discussions, to which anyone else can subscribe and become part of the audience.
A shrewd development of the ideas behind Twitter and question-and-answer site, Quora, Branch will act as a filter for the conversations that are happening around the web, allowing users to find and start more relevant and meaningful conversations with whoever they like.
Medium and Branch are forward-thinking moves toward a better quality of web publishing.
With Google scrutinising the quality of content more closely than ever, and with factors like authorship signals and social noise affecting search rankings, Branch and Medium are a welcome addition to the web publishing landscape.
These new platforms will help strengthen the tie between SEO and social media, as individuals and organisations will need to strive harder to create better quality web content to get themselves found and heard by their audience.