To everyone who thinks Facebook is just for posting status updates of what you ate for breakfast and pictures showing your drunk ass from last night, BranchOut aims to change that mentality.
The brainchild of social media pioneer Rick Marini (who previously founded SuperFan and Tickle, profiled in an interview here), BranchOut leverages the potential of 500 million Facebook user accounts by offering a one-stop career center.
The way it works right now for career networking on Facebook is every account has an optional “Info” section where you can share work information with your friends. But there is no way to view companies that employ multiple mutual friends; the company and school links on your Info page are redirected to community pages and you are listed as someone who likes that company, not that you work there.
With BranchOut, you can instantly see the names and pictures of your friends, the work and school information they manually inputted into their Info sections, and additionally there is the option to import LinkedIn data — which BranchOut synchronizes with the Facebook Info data — and you can edit every section to make it look professional. You can also, like LinkedIn, endorse people in your network and write recommendations about them.
The 6-month-old Facebook application is gaining storm and third-party opinions by Jolie O’Dell and Lou Adler are positive. I only needed to click around for a few minutes to grasp the business potential of using the combined Facebook and BranchOut to generate job leads and promote career development. I don’t know how many recruiters are using this tool nor if it would take away prospective LinkedIn users, but this is something to consider for your networking arsenal.