Facebook acquires Branch social network, team to lead 'Conversations' group

Facebook acquires Branch social network, team to lead 'Conversations' group
Facebook on Monday confirmed that it has grabbed a hold of Branch, a social network that focuses providing online forums for insightful conversations.

Terms of the deal were not released, but some reports estimated the price at $15 million. The company also owns the news link-sharing service, Potluck.

"I am thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our mission at Facebook," Branch co-founder and chief executive Josh Miller wrote in a Facebook post, that he said was fired off while vacationing at a mountain locale in Japan.

Miller wrote that the New York City-based startup's twin social networks, Branch and Potluck, will continue to operate independently but its nine-member team will form a Facebook Conversations group.

The group's goal will be to help Facebook users connect in meaningful exchanges based on interests, according to Miller.

The start-up launched about two years ago with backing from The Obvious Corporation, a technology firm incubator formed and backed by Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams.

According to Techcrunch, which cites confirmation from Facebook, the Branch Media buyout is a 'talent acquisition.'

The Facebook announcement by Miller read:

After two years building Branch and Potluck, I am thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our mission at Facebook!

We will be forming Facebook's Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests. Their pitch to us was: "Build Branch at Facebook scale!"

Although the products we build will be reminiscent of Branch and Potluck, those services will live on outside of Facebook. A more thoughtful note and details to come soon but I am writing this haphazardly from a mountain in Japan (I was tipped that the story was going to leak while on vacation).

(Written with AFP inputs)
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