LinkedIn? Old school. That’s what BranchOut would like you to think.
Many Facebook aficionados have turned to BranchOut when it comes to job and internship hunting, networking and recruitment.
Unlike your profile page, BranchOut only shows the user’s work history, education and positive recommendations. Your embarrassing photo tags and inebriated status updates are safe.
Recently, BranchOut launched its newest addition, the Jobs Tab.
Companies can add the Jobs Tab to their Facebook pages, where users can apply, share the job with other friends through messages or job posts, and see which of their friends already work there or have a connection within the company.
BranchOut’s CEO, Rick Marini, said that users will soon be able “to tag friends’ profiles with skills and attributes” such as “hard worker and loyal.”
BranchOut is touted as the largest professional service on Facebook, with “hundreds of thousands of people” networking on the app.
But the million (or billion) dollar question remains: What makes BranchOut any better than LinkedIn?
LinkedIn was launched in 2002 as a site for job seekers to post resumes and network. BranchOut, which came along in 2010, pretty much follows the same format. Both allow the user to connect with companies and search for jobs.
On BranchOut, though, friends can endorse each other, and earn badges when they get a certain amount of people in their network. I don’t see how a stinking badge is going to help me find a job.
Again, I ask, what makes BranchOut better than LinkedIn? I’m not seeing anything illuminating.
In fact, I have come across more obstacles than advantages.
Users must allow BranchOut access to their wall information when they sign up. They will then be bombarded with notifications and game invites. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in getting sick of repeated invites to join Farmville or Mafia Wars.
Likewise, it’s anti-climactic to visit my Facebook page, excited to learn I have a new wall post, only to find out it’s something generic like, “Guess what so-and-so said about you?”
On Quora, several people commented on the spam factor. Andrea Giannangelo said she feels “violated” by public spam on her Facebook page from BranchOut’s viral features.
LinkedIn allows people to network outside of their industry, while BranchOut keeps you segregated. Contacts must also be a subscriber of BranchOut in order to connect.
Facebook even has a page called “I’ve Uninstalled BranchOut.” It names a couple ways to delete BranchOut from your apps, to avoid spamming your friends through wall posts and email messages.
However, when it comes to connecting with other industries, Sarang Brahme, a recruitment sourcing manager, laments that most first- and second-level contacts on BranchOut are also recruiters, which only allows him access to references from a closed community.
“It does not have any good facility to search candidates directly,” Brahme said. “This is where LinkedIn scores in a big way. It depends on its members to provide references.”
From what I’m hearing, BranchOut is more likely to annoy my friends and waste my time if the company I’m searching for isn’t connected. I think I’ll stick with LinkedIn, thanks.
If you prefer BranchOut to LinkedIn, we would like to hear why! Please tell us in the comments!