Twitter founders “Branch” out, back tool for “high quality public discourse”

Two men famous for creating a communication tool that inspires pointless banter are lending their celebrity to a little-known company looking to build Twitter’s opposite.

Obvious Corporation, the company created by Twitter legends Biz Stone and Evan Williams after their departure from the information network, has partnered with the three bright young lads behind a higher brow conversation tool called Branch.

“The prototype … enables a smart new brand of high quality public discourse,” Stone explained Tuesday in a blog post announcing the partnership. “Curated groups of people are invited to engage around issues in which they are knowledgeable.”

Branch, like Twitter, is a publishing platform. The private beta product is built on top of the Twitter platform and, as co-creator Josh Miller describes it, is focused tightly around facilitating conversations.

“Every other publishing platform is centered around monologues, the conversation is always secondary,” Miller explained using his own tool. “That doesn’t seem right to us. So we’re flipping that dynamic on its head.”

Obvious is lending the team temporary office space and helping Branch with its technology, product design, and marketing efforts (clearly!). It’ll also be loaning out the seasoned social expertise of Obvious Corporation co-founder and former Twitter VP of product Jason Goldman, who will be taking an active role at the company and journeying with Branch in a few months to set up shop in New York at Betaworks.

Based on Miller’s blog post, Branch appears to have raised an undisclosed sum of seed funding from Lerer Ventures and SV Angel.

Update: BetaBeat unearthed a Form D showing that Branch recently raised nearly $2 million in funding.

Photo credit: *clarity*/Flickr


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