Since coming into the public eye nearly one year agoObvious Corporation‘s Branch is now open to the public, and has launched a number of features including highlights, a new activity feed, Spotify Integration and more.

Diving deeper, highlights are Branch’s answer to likes, hearts, favorites, etc. The company details that it felt the need to rethink its mechanism for positive feedback, and felt highlights were the perfect way for users to showcase anything worth reading, be it “interesting, controversial, original, thoughtful, or funny.”

highlight 730x218 Curated discussion service Branch launches publicly with highlights, activity feeds, Spotify support

Moving down the list, Branch’s new activity feed shows you “who’s listening.” The startup explains that it was “inspired by the illuminating analytics of a dashboard, the community of Twitter’s Connect tab, and the jovial vibe of Foursquare’s feed.” Now, users will be able to see when other users “watch or view your branches, highlight something you said, or watch or join your groups.” Branch isn’t a place for lurking, it seems.

feed 1 520x458 Curated discussion service Branch launches publicly with highlights, activity feeds, Spotify support

Branch has also introduced a new way to start conversations, which encourages users to “write like they talk.” The company details that it wants “sharing your ideas on Branch to feel just like sharing your ideas around a table with friends.”

Lastly, Branch has integrated with Spotify and Soundcloud, for discussions involving music. It’s likely that additional third-party integrations will compliment other areas of discussion as well.

We’ve spent time with Branch while it was in its private beta stage and were impressed by some of the insightful conversations held on the site. The service has an interesting dynamic, but up until now, the greater public has yet to explore it. We’ll have to wait and see how sticky it is in the long run.

Branch was originally known as “Roundtable,” and was the second project that Obvious jumped into after forming. The first was Lift.

➤ Branch

Image credit: Siri Stafford / Thinkstock