Potluck: New Stress-Free Social Network Promotes Shared Interests Rather Than Individuals

On Tuesday, Branch, a New York startup backed by Twitter co-founders, launched Potluck , a social network built around link-sharing and discussions. In contrast to other social media sites, Potluck hides the person who shared the link in an attempt to eliminate performance anxiety online. The link-sharer is only identified after a user has clicked through to discuss or comment on the content.

This self-proclaimed “house party on the internet” invites people to share and talk about cool online content with friends and hang out with interesting people in extended friend circles. Potluck targets “lurkers,” or people who sit back and view what others share instead of posting themselves. This group that makes up 86% of the internet has never published a blog post or tweet (perhaps out of fear of rejection).

In order to pull these users into the internet limelight, Potluck focuses solely on content and shared interests, not the individuals who share the post. The company discovered that most people find links they think are interesting on a daily basis. However, they almost never share them—so Potluck made publishing links as simple as copy-and-paste.

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This new social network presents marketers with a number of ways to connect with consumers. Create a channel and grow your “friend” base. Post links to engaging branded content and watch as users interact with your material. Since viewers click on links based on personal preferences, you will have a good understanding of how many people are genuinely interested in your content. Potluck’s design makes it easy for users and their network of friends to discuss shared links, which means that you can utilize the site to generate consumer-brand conversations.

The new trend in online social sharing sites seems to be simplicity. For example, Rockpack, a new online video application, just hit the market offering users a simple, beautiful way to curate and share online videos. Potluck is similar with its simplistic features and purpose. Both services are hoping to attract individuals who are searching for easier ways to express themselves and their interests. Soon, we may see a shift as users tire of complex social networks cluttered with unwanted information—but only time will tell if people are truly interested in adopting simplistic approaches to online social media sharing.

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