Games like Farmville and Restaurant City have eclipsed more practical applications on Facebook, but a new app called BranchOut is hoping to change this.
The utility of BranchOut is clear-cut: to help people build strong career networks through everyone they are connected to on Facebook. Every time a Facebook friend joins BranchOut, you can see where they used to work, where they work now, and where their friends work.
To get momentum and traffic going, users are encouraged to invite friends to join BranchOut through a multi-friend selector which can send wall posts or private messages, or by sharing a unique referral URL.
It’s being coined as a fun way to visualize the degrees of separation between you and the job you really want.
BranchOut was developed by the founders of Tickle, a leader in online quizzes. Tickle was sold to Monster in 2004 for $100 million. The Tickle team stayed on at Monster for the next three years before leaving for another venture.
Co-founder Rick Marini then went on to launch BranchOut in July 2010. According to an article on InsideFacebook.com, an associate had asked Marini for a sales lead introduction to a company Marini knew one of his Facebook friends worked at, but he couldn’t remember which friend. He realized an app that listed where your friends worked could not only help people find jobs, like the Simply Hired Facebook Connect site, but could be a career networking platform.
If you’re an employer, posting a job on BranchOut is free. The jobs are powered by Indeed and the jobs tab shows any job postings friends have listed in to help out their network or earn referral bonuses.
BranchOut has taken no outside venture capital and is self-funded by Marini.