Social media managers familiar with these pages will know that we reported back in July on Potluck, a new link-sharing app from the team behind the New York-headquartered social conversation service Branch. We can now report that the app has been launched in its second incarnation, shifting the service in the direction of a news and messaging hybrid.
Encouraging shy lurkers
As social media managers who read our earlier article will be aware, Potluck began life as a link-sharing service where people could share their interesting findings. But it was designed to break the internet’s “1 percent rule” – the rule that only 1 percent of a social media site’s visitors will be content creators, with the rest acting as viewers (“lurkers”). Potluck version 2.0 continues in this vein, encouraging lurkers out of their shyness by letting them post comments about a shared link. And Potluck’s emphasis was always on the message, not the messenger.
But what’s new? For one thing, the user interface has been re-vamped to make it much more messaging-friendly. Given that the startup has built up a very engaged community on a short space of time, that’s a natural next step. Conversations in the new app are centered on topics, not on people. CEO Josh Miller explains it like this:
“[I]nstead of tapping on the names of your roommates or co-workers to start talking, you tap on topics that you’re interested in — such as ‘Banksy’s NYC residency,’ or ‘Eminem’s new album.’”
A new niche?
The more inquiring social media manager will, of course, be interested in the size of that engaged community. Miller admits that is wasn’t growing especially fast. Version 2.0 resituates the app in a place Miller believes will become a unique niche – the intermediate space between social news sites like Reddit or Digg and mobile messaging apps like Whatsapp.
OK, so Twitter is the Goliath that Potluck must compete with and of course it, too, lets users post links and comment on them. But Potluck doesn’t limit the number of characters users can deploy and because its avatars are smaller, it’s the content that attracts attention not the poster.
The new version also includes Circa-style original content from the Branch team, all of which is designed to take no more than 20 seconds to read.