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Facebook picks up social sharing service Branch Media

Deal reportedly worth $15 million; Branch team will be forming Facebook's Conversations group

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 13, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3451

Facebook's newest goal is to get the best content to its users, and get them to share it with their friends.. That is why it was reported this past summer that the company was working on a  Flipboard-like reading app, and why it recently updated its algorithm to feature high quality content over memes. 

With that goal in mind, Facebook has gone out and made its second purchase of 2014, picking up social sharing service Branch Media.

The purchase was announced by Branch CEO Josh Miller, via his Facebook profile, on Monday.

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

While details of the acquisition are so far scarce, it was revealed that the Branch team "will be forming Facebook's Conversations group," which will be based in New York City, "with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests." 

Miller also said the products that the teamwill be developing at Facebook "will be reminiscent of Branch and Potluck," but that those services will also continue to be available outside of Facebook. He did not specify how long that would be the case, though.

It also sounds as though the New York City-based team at Branch will not be relocating to Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, as Miller says that Facebook's Conversations group is also based on the east coast.

If what exactly Branch will be doing for Facebook, and how it will be integrated into the service, all seems fairly vague at this point, that may be because the post was written while Miller is on vacation in Japan, and was only revealed now because he had heard that it was about to be leaked. Miller promised  "a more thoughtful note and details to come soon."

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but a report from ReCode pegs it at $15 million. VatorNews has reached out to both Facebook and Branch to confirm this figure, and we will update if we learn more.

Founded in 2011, Branch Media offers two separate services: Branch, which is a platform for hosting, and publishing, invite-only conversations; and Potluck, a Web and mobile app that is “designed for friends to talk about cool things they find online.”

The company raised $2 million in seed funding from Obvious Corp, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel and a group of angel investors in March of 2012.

This is the second acquisition of the year for Facebook, which picked up Little Eye Labs, which provides performance analysis and monitoring tools for Android developers, last week.

The purchase was Facebook's first acquisition of a startup based in India, a country where it is seeing its user base grow quickly.

(Image source: http://branch.com)


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