You know you are addicted to Facebook, that’s why you come back everyday and scroll from top to bottom! Though you have “liked” many pages or apps, you actually get bored with so many random contents flooded with pictures greeting you every time you visit your ‘Home’ page. Montreal based startup Bunch, founded by Andrew Sider and Hesam Hosseini, is aiming to filter your search so that you can have more of content and less of jargons!
Follow Topics Instead of People
If you talk to any startup founder, he/she would say, “I couldn’t find this, so I built up this product”. With Bunch, the story line is same- Sider wanted to discover content about topics he is passionate about, but he couldn’t find a place to have an engaging discussion about these topics. Normally, your Facebook and Twitter friends don’t have the time to care about your passions. Even if they did, they are pretty noisy to engage you. Of course, there are many forums where you can have discussions, but honestly speaking, forums have crossed the expiry date! Sider opines that our generation will not even care to look at these forums in the next 20 years! So, there was a need of a platform which will engage the viewers- and Sider, along with Hosseini created Bunch. Bunch is a social platform where you can follow topics rather than following people, and it will be a network that will have all things you love in place of 1,000+ Facebook likes. At Bunch the communities around each topic has a focused content and a meaningful engagement.
Simple design+High Quality Content+Average Internet User
Bunch is not an inventor of ‘topic-based-network-idea’. Sider says “We think Bunch as a Reddit for everyone else”. Reddit is a topic network and is hugely successful, but it caters to internet savvy, male,20-something! Bunch team primary focuses on two things:
First is accessibility- Bunch is for average internet users. The design is simple and familiar, and it is available on multiple platforms. At present Bunch is available on web and iPhone, but team Bunch is working to bring it on Android and tablets.
Secondly, Bunch wants to be home to high quality content. It hopes to eliminate the stigma that online communities are the underbelly of the internet. Bunch achieves this in part by asking its members to validate their identity by signing up with Facebook, which helps foster high quality content and discussions. Sider believes people are naturally more accountable and civil when ‘acting in public’; they also invest in the product more- because it’s an online representation of who they are.
Bunch is different From Other Platforms
Bunch has a vision to create a platform for discussions related to worthy content with a community that cares Bunch team analyzed the social networks and discovered that photo-based posts are more prone to getting ‘liked’ while text-based posts are driving in discussions. This led to a Bunch UI that encourages thoughtful posts in form of a question or a thought or may be an article. Its not that Bunch doesn’t consider photos at all- Photos can be shared only if they are accompanied with text.
Dive into Topics you Care about most
Social media can be described as a ‘fed by one-click sharing’. Social apps are always racking their brains to find out more ways to allow sharing. This has created really busy social feeds with simple content. Citing an example, Sider says, once content on Facebook had a meaning that got shared between users, but today Facebook users have really taken Facebook’s question”What’s on your mind” very seriously- Every little thing is on the users’ walls. There are still many feeds in his Facebook news feed, but they are cramped with too much noise!
Topic-based networks like Bunch bring ‘focus’ to social media. It allows users to have deeper engagement on the topics they care about. Sider believes Facebook has really pushed the Like button, and as a result we “like” so many things that it isn’t a valuable signal anymore. Our news feed has become busy with things we don’t really care about. At Bunch there is an opportunity to create communities around a more meaningful signal – passions. You don’t see topic networks replacing friend-based networks, but rather giving users a new place to dive deeper into the topics they care about most.
Bunch is an upgraded version of Forums and Chatrooms
Forums and chatrooms may near expiry dates, but they happen to be the earliest form of community on the web, and are till date basic technologies that made us realize we can connect to people over the web. The problem lies in the fact that these never grew up after their inception. Change is the only thing that is constant, and these forums and chatrooms are devoid of any change. Bunch comes in as a fresh air with a vision to create a product that captures the value of forums but in a format accessible to the average Internet user today. Design, mobile access, real identity login, and a one-stop platform approach are few upgrades the mass was looking out for. Bunch doesn’t aim to become a new type of forum because ‘forum’ is no more an awe-inspiring word. It is as good as dead and uninspiring to maximum people!
Bunch will go Global soon from North America
The need for a network cannot be centralized- its a global need. Bunch launched in North America with an English Product, but it aims to become global in future. At present, Bunch is looking for some smarter ways to execute this. One idea Sider shared is- Starting off a new topic community by language, although they are looking at approaches that leverage existing content and allow users to communicate across language barriers, For Example: Automatic Translation Technology or Crowd Sourced Translation. Passions are just like Language, and Co-founder of Bunch wants this platform to be a place where everyone can be fluent in theirs! A Bunch of idea/ thoughts/ write ups can now have a filtered audience and a brainstorming discussion, only on Bunch- where there is just good content and people talking about them!
Need your own Bunch today? Go grab it from the App Store now!