Over the past week, thousands of Facebook users have noticed their friends posting requests to their Facebook profiles, asking for help to grow their professional network on Facebook through a new application called BranchOut.
The application, which ironically appeared to have crashed while writing this post, enables users to engage in professional networking on Facebook, however the company’s approach appears to be just a little bit spammy. Over the past week my personal profile has become bombarded by contacts I don’t know very well, each requesting for me to assist them in expanding their professional network, as pictured in the feed post below.
The application enables users to import their LinkedIn profiles and then use them to connect through Facebook. It’s somewhat ironic as the application appears to be a direct competitor with the company, although the application is still a fraction of the size. Despite its phenomenal growth, quadrupling from 10,000 to over 40,000 monthly active users in the past week, BranchOut appears to lack actual engagement opportunities. In other words, what do I do once I install the application? I rarely interact with LinkedIn as it is, and I’m not sure why I’d spend much time interacting with BranchOut.
Despite the lack of engagement opportunities, it’s clear that a relatively large group of users see a significant opportunity to leverage the application. Hopefully it isn’t the same people who became “LinkedIn LIONs” by connecting with every user on the site for “digital networking”, something that I’ve always believed presented little value over in person networking. However based on LinkedIn’s massive growth, which was accelerated by its dedicated user base, I have no doubt that BranchOut will continue to grow quickly.
The only question that I haven’t answered yet: Why would I want to use it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Also, if you haven’t installed the application yet, you can go install it here.