Branch announces simplified version of commenting and conversation site

Typically, an updated version of a site or product includes more bells and whistles. But Branch, the commenting and conversation site launched by former Twitter founders, announced some changes on Tuesday that will simplify, rather than further complicate, the site.

Branch wrote in a blog post that while the company is working to improve the features surrounding commenting, users asked for a cleaner, simpler version, and the company is complying:

“Over the last few months, we’ve spent time adding features to this simple tool: features like groups, a notification drawer, ask-to-join, and ‘branching.’ But we’ve also spent time listening, and when we did, we heard that while these features make having conversations easier and more delightful, they also make Branch more complicated. And that’s the last thing we wanted to do.

So starting today, you’ll find a simpler

Just like before, you can start a branch, add people to it, and talk to each other. You can also still take your conversation and put it anywhere: embed it on a website, share it on Twitter or Facebook, or link to it in an email. What you won’t find is a complex notification system, groups architecture, ask-to-join process, or a way to “branch” individual posts. (But don’t worry! All your content is safe and sound.)”

Branch start a comment screenshot image

When Branch was still in private beta in July 2012, cofounder Josh Miller explained to GigaOM that he envisioned Branch evolving to become more like Google (s GOOG) Wave, but with some key differences. He’ll be speaking at our paidContent Live conference in New York on April 17.

“I think the promise of Google Wave is really interesting. Ultimately, it was too complicated a product,” Miller said at the time. “We’re focused on offering a very simple user experience. We’re really interested in the portability of conversations.”