Bnter Is Now Banters: Slick Redesign as Prose Startup Grows

The Banters team from left to right: Lauren Leto, Becky Carella, Matt Goggin, Patrick Moberg and Grant Custer.

Lauren Leto and Patrick Moberg thought they’d be using the name “Bnter” for oh, maybe six months at most before they could secure the dot-com with the proper spelling from a tight-fisted IBM (why?). But unable to secure the domain, the team and their three employees decided it was time for more vowels. Bnter, the conversation tracker, is now Banters, which happens to be hip U.K. slang. “I think ‘Banters’ is cool,” Ms. Leto told Betabeat, noting in an email that “it’s easier to remember and spell, and people will know how to pronounce it.”

The site has a new look in addition to the new name. The interface is cleaner, the iPhone app works with Siri so you can repeat a conversation aloud in order to log it, and there are a few new features, including “likes,” the ability to make posts private and freedom from the original three-bubble conversation limit and an “explore” tab to find funny Banters, of which there are about 50,000 on the site. The team has also started seeding the site with quotes and famous conversations from the likes of Mark Twain in party, the bookish Ms. Leto said, to populate the neglected “literature” tab.

The end vision is to make Banters a standalone social network, like an Instagram, but for quotes, Ms. Leto said. “We want to make quoting someone as easy as snapping a photo with someone,” she said. “I think that our ‘explore’ tab is a big step toward making Banters the internet k-hole of quotes… I do think that sharing conversations is the next wave of friends.”

Banters raised some money over the summer after a falling out with Spark Capital.

Bnter Is Now Banters: Slick Redesign as Prose Startup Grows