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This article was published on June 25, 2013

    Branch launches Potluck, a promising link sharing community that doesn’t care about upvotes

    Branch launches Potluck, a promising link sharing community that doesn’t care about upvotes
    Harrison Weber
    Story by

    Harrison Weber

    Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

    Branch, the Obvious-backed startup responsible for a discussion service of the same name, has launchedPotluck, a new product which Branch co-founder Josh Miller claims is focused on the “86% of the internet who have never published a blog post or tweet.”

    In the simplest terms, Potluck is a link sharing service. Unlike sites like Digg and Reddit, however, Potluck isn’t about surfacing the best content with upvotes. Instead, Potluck is intended to feel more like a house party, where friends casually share things they’re interested in.

    According to Miller, Potluck is complimentary to Branch, and not a replacement.

    Using Potluck

    On Potluck, there are only a few things you can do.  There’s an ever-present post field for sharing links, a stream of links your friends have shared, and pages where you can comment on links (called “Rooms”). Aside from notifications and very basic profiles, that’s about it.

    Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.16.38 AM

    In practice, what keeps you on the site is the flow of links, which — if you actually like the people you follow — are bound to surface something engaging. How else would I have watched this video of a baby elephant taking its first steps?

    A closer look at Potluck's "Friend Activity" stream.
    A closer look at Potluck’s “Friend Activity” stream.

    Right now, Potluck is Web-first-only. The service is pleasant to use on the Web, but it’s not perfect.

    Miller tells us that an iOS app is coming in a few weeks, and we can’t help but feel that this app will make or break the service. Given how casual the network is, a mobile app could be the perfect thing to play with on your off time. Until then, check out Potluck via the link below.

    ➤ Potluck

    Photography by Emma Weber