BranchOut vs. LinkedIn: Who Will Fare As Networking Leader in the Social World?

We should all be familiar with the professional networking site, LinkedIn, as our go to for recruiting and company inquiries. For many years it was one of the only social networking platforms that really catered to the job search market (eliminating photo sharing and status updates like its biggest competitors in the social world, Facebook and Twitter). Two years ago, Facebook decided to up its competition level in the job search industry and launched its own professional network, BranchOut.

At 25 million registered users, BranchOut allows aspiring internet marketers to see which of their Facebook friends (or friends of friends) are working at specific companies. The application will directly connect you with your pre-existing Facebook graphs. It will pull your basic info and profile info (education history, location and work history) along with your friends’ profile info (education histories, locations and work histories) upon download. This allows you to save time by not having to build your professional network one person at a time, something you must do on LinkedIn.

BranchOut works and looks much like its biggest competitor, LinkedIn, in that it allows you to browse over 3 million jobs and 20,000 internships. Online marketing companies can also use the network for sales and recruiting through its RecruiterConnect tool (which works like LinkedIn Recruiter).  I decided to download the app and take a look for myself; here is what the platform looks like (from my profile view):

 

As you can see BranchOut allows the following:

  • Ability to search for people, companies, or titles in the search bar
  • Find connections at top companies
  • Gives a live feed of what your friends are up to regarding their work/education history
  • Allows you to see where your friends work, and if there are any open positions (and how many)
  • Post jobs to BranchOut network and to your Facebook page

After some exploring I think the most useful part of the platform is when you click on a company it will show you a list of inside connections. Here are the people who work there that may somehow have a connection to you; if you hover over their picture icon it will state whether they are a direct friend (1st degree) or a friend of a friend (2nd degree).  You can use the Message button shown in the pop-up dialog box to acquire any further information you may want to know about the company before applying.

BranchOut still has a ways to go to catch up to LinkedIn’s 150 million registered users, but with a database of 850 million on Facebook, I see this platform experiencing exponential growth in the near future.  Has anyone else given the new professional networking platform a shot; if so, what are your opinions?

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