I was fortunate enough to get a heads-up on a new initiative that Monster is launching this weekend. They have created a Facebook app called “BeKnown” which (in my words) gives users a professional face on Facebook. Initially I thought it was a “me too” move, as at first peek, I thought it was their answer to “Branch Out.” However, after a closer look under the hood, it looks like a major play by Monster to try to dominate the space quickly (before Linkedin does it).
Where I think Monster has an advantage is that they are launching this app in 19 languages covering 35 ccountries (verses BranchOut’s 1 supported language and Linkedin’s 6 supported langauges). Plus a few other goodies Linkedin and Branchout do not have. Such as:
- Beknown lets you claim and manage company profiles
- They offer social job posting referrals with reward functionality (although that is pending). This alone will make it a compelling app for many people, maybe ushering a new crop of recruiters to those who are successful with it. Just sayin’… In case that was unclear, they will soon have an option that pays you $X.00 when you refer a hire.
- Integrated semantic job search (Seems to work well from what I saw)
- Skills endorsement (surprised Linkedin doesn’t have this on their app. Is it pending? I wonder.)
- I like the badge thing thing they have going as well (although BranchOut had it first) I suggested that they let people suggest new badges like… umm… when you are mentioned in the media you get a badge. (Fingers crossed for that one.)
- I LOVE that I can use a different picture on my BeKnown profile and not be restricted to the pic on my Facebook profile. Its not that I’m ashamed of it, just that I think its a wonderful option that will help a lot of people out. (wink)
- I like that you can import your profile from Monster and Linkedin into your BeKnown profile.
- I like the separate messaging system that comes with BeKnown because it helps me keep my professional messages and personal messages separate.
Right out of the gate however, I thought that they would have one BIG hurdle to overcome. Since the Monster brand is so well known, I think a lot of recruiters will think of this app and say, “Wow! Now I can search Facebook the same way I search Monster.” And if you are thinking that, let me advise you that you cannot.
My understanding is that BeKnown is a social network and as such, you have to be connected to people in order to connect with them. (A’ la Linkedin) However, you can do a search for specific people and validate that you know them. I do wish that it provided vanity URLS or even unique URLS so that I could add it to my email signature for example, http://beknown.facebook.com/jimstroud but maybe in the future. (Sorry, that was a random thought.)
I think that this is an interesting play for Monster and comes at the right time. If they want to swoop in and dominate, now is the time, as I am sure Linkedin has a few tricks up their sleeve to give them a run for their money. Right now though, I am wondering if Linkedin will now have to play catch-up when I thought that they would be the ones to do this on a large scale first. (And certainly before an upstart like BranchOut.) Just my two cents…
P.S. I am curious to hear from jobseekers! Does a Facebook app from Monster get you excited? Please leave me a comment and let me know? Thanks!