I was recently told about a new social media platform developed with the intention of connecting Christians of all types to each other. I was intrigued and decided others may be as well. While one might want to align 1Branch as a Facebook for Christians, they would be mistaken. 1Branch was created to give controversial Christian views a place to be shared without criticism. People can gather together in a neutral religious zone to discover the ultimate truth together. Founder and Project Manager, Paul Etienne, struggled in the past to convey his own religious views with the people around him which fueled him to bring 1Branch to life. The site gets its name from John 15:5, in which Jesus said, “I am the Vine. You are the branches”
“The spirit of 1Branch is to embrace the totality of the religious experience. I want to enable people to talk about issues that really matter to them, even if they are considered off limits. I created a platform where people can feel free to express themselves and to find their true purpose. I realize that our approach might be controversial, but if it’s important, it’s worth doing.”
1Branch offers users much of the same experience as other social media platforms including:
- Customized Profiles
- User Photo Upload
- Direct Private Messaging
Where it differs is that the topics explored on the site cater to a spiritual, Christian point-of-view. As users register they are asked to disclose their religious denomination and are then invited to "branch." Branching allows discussions to be both positive and negative. Opinions are shared within the same Christian branch but the separation allows for a more customized and anonymous social experience.
Branching offers two streams - "Dirty Laundry” and “General" - which are specific to the chosen denomination. Dirty Laundry allows posters to post freely and anonymously about things they don’t like, understand, or that confuse, and even about secrets a denomination may have.
An interesting website catering to a specific niche that I felt was highly minimalist in nature. Minimalist living enthusiasts favor beautiful free experiences. The ability to gather together virtually, discuss feelings, opinions, and spirituality, most definitely fits into that lifestyle.