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Facebook snaps up conversation app Branch for $15M, which was backed by Twitter’s cofounders

Above: Branching a discussion

Image Credit: Branch
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Branch is taking its online forum-esque smarts to Facebook.

Facebook has just acqui-hired the team behind the New York City based startup, which was focused on developing a platform for online conversation, Branch cofounder Josh Miller announced on Facebook this morning. While Miller didn’t disclose much about the deal, both the Verge and Recode are reporting that Facebook paid around $15 million.

You might have noticed Branch over the past few years as it was occasionally used by journalists and online personalities to have lengthy conversations. While it was a great way to have more in-depth conversations that wouldn’t fit on Twitter, Branch never really caught on beyond its influential early users.

Branch came out of Obvious Corp., the incubator from Twitter cofounders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. It raised around $2 million in funding from Obvious Corp, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, and others.

Miller says he and his team will be building Facebook’s new Conversations group in NYC, which it will encourage people to connect around their interests. Basically, it’s Branch all over again at Facebook. While he notes that Branch and Potluck — a recently released bite-sized news app from Branch — will continue to function, history has shown that non-essential apps don’t stick around for long after Facebook hires their team.

Update: Facebook contacted us to confirm that this was an acqui-hire deal, not a total acquisition of Branch. That means the Branch and Potluck apps likely won’t stick around for long.

More about the companies and people from this article:

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

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