Friday, 20 April 2012

LinkedIn has a competitor. BranchOut.





I use Linkedin. I like Linkedin. But I'm getting tired of it.


Tired of long lists of updates and little interaction.
Tired of being constantly told about other people joining new groups.
Tired of a lack of interesting posting and usage.


Although there's no doubt, it is THE Business network where you can actually do business and reach out to business customers. Because largely, it's the one most established and not, if I might suggest, because of its excellence in design.


But it has become very closed as a network - introductions are not made easy - and very commercial through constant advertising. It feels very impersonal and quite limited in content. No video "hangouts", no streaming, limited news feeds and just kind of basic functionality. 


So now it has a competitor - BranchOut.


It's something that Businesspeople should be aware of.


BranchOut allows users to see which of their Facebook friends (or their friends) work at specific companies and it doesn't require users to build a network one person at a time. Unlike Linkedin. And I think that's a key because the slow, time-consuming nature of building a Linkedin network, is unhelpful. 


In lots of ways the profile data is similar and with a recruitment section - RecruiterConnect, (which caused Linkedin to block Branchout from using its API), it fulfills all the things that Linkedin does. And more.


With 13 million monthly unique users, BranchOut is getting more popular as a Facebook App, than Pinterest and Skype whilst still being considered a new "start up". And largely due to early adopters in the mobile space, outside of the US.


I think this is important in that there does seem to be an opportunity in the Business network/Social media space to target Linkedin. Which, it seems to me, has lost its way to a degree.


The Business market online, has real growth potential as more and more business people consider online as a place to be. Perhaps too, Linkedin users may feel it's time to move on.


BranchOut is the first of the competitors.

Just in at 230pm as an update from Business Insider. BranchOut raises 25million usd today: http://www.businessinsider.com/hey-linkedin-youd-better-go-buy-branchout-before-facebook-does-2012-4