BranchOut – LinkedIn’s Biggest Competitor

BranchOut is a popular Facebook application that is used to search new jobs and can connect with professionals across the globe. The BranchOut App is used to recruit employees as well.

About

Launched in July 2010, as of now it has more than 25 million registered users to its credit. BranchOut is backed by the dedicated team strength of 45 employees. It has grown so smart that it poses a challenge to a professional dedicated network that connects professionals — LinkedIn. LinkedIn was launched in the year 2003. It has more than 200 million users which are being benefited from more than 200 countries. The site is available in 13 various languages including English.

BranchOut

How Does BranchOut Work?

BranchOut lets you check your friends and friends’ friends that are working in various organizations which are already registered on Facebook. It is simple to use BranchOut application for Facebook, as the required user data will be graphed from Facebook database. On the other hand, you are required to build professional network by adding new persons one by one. BranchOut has the similar user interface as that of LinkedIn. You will be able to send friend requests and send messages to existing friends as you do through LinkedIn.

Achievements

BranchOut has more than 3 million job listings on its site. It has a product for serious recruiters called ‘RecruiterConnect’ which looks similar to that of LinkedIn’s Recruiter. With more than 13 million unique hits per month BranchOut is one of the most popular applications on Facebook. The reason for the success of BranchOut is the worldwide expansion and adoption by mobile users. Half of the new registrations are coming from US and also the merging of popular job sites such as totaljobs.com and StepStone attributes to this success.

m-BranchOut

BranchOut is also popular on the mobile platform. More than 25% of the site traffic is happening through mobile users. BranchOut is pumping more cash to spread its base. Even though the current 25 million user base is not big when compared with LinkedIn’s user base, BranchOut has a unique advantage to attract crowds from Facebook which has more than 800 million user base. It is also easy for users to opt for BranchOut as it is just a matter of grant of permissions to the application by Facebook users.

Facebook is also the preferred platform for enterprises to promote products and services. They will not hesitate to utilize the services of BranchOut for their recruiting requirements. The seamless integration between BranchOut and Facebook will be definitely an advantageous factor for individuals and organizations.

The Challenges

On the other hand, BranchOut has more challenges in terms of maintenance of consistency. Its 45 employee team has to work hard to reflect the changes made by Facebook. This should be done in a time bound manner. LinkedIn has the advantage to attract users of social networking sites other than Facebook. Being a dedicated social network, it has the advantage to implement new features at any point of time. BranchOut has to take risks with the mainstream Facebook. It has to survive at the mercy of Facebook. If Facebook wants to deploy its own version to connect professionals, BranchOut and its users’ interests will be greatly impacted.

  • Sushrut Bidwai

    I have tried making a living out of mining social networks data, specially that of linkedin. What you are missing here is lot of things which makes linkedin difficult to defeat. 

    1. recruitment, even though biggest revenue driver, is still just one of the things linkedin is useful for.
    2. Business intelligence is one of the more important uses of linkedin.
    3. Depth and hygiene of data from linkedin and that from facebook is not comparable at all.
    4. Even though 50% of linkedin groups are spammers heaven, rest are very useful for passive recruitments and business introductions.
    5. Not lot of bloggers give linkedin its due credit, but I think linkedin today is best auto-curated content platform out there. Nothing I have tried so far beats it as far as quality of content goes. 

    Branchout at this point is more of a job board. Driving traffic to any job board is not that big a problem, specially given they have too much money to drive that traffic. What matters is engagement. 

    • I remember you doing a lot on LinkedIn. I guess you're pretty right with your points.