Job search company Monster is jumping into social networking with a new app geared toward creating and cultivating professional relationships...on Facebook.
"BeKnown answers the need and challenge in the marketplace for people to build their professional networks on Facebook while keeping personal and work-related contacts and content completely separate," says Darko Dejanovic, global CIO and head of product at Monster.
BeKnown, which launched a few weeks ago, already has close to 300,000 active users. In launching the new network on Facebook—which traditionally has had difficulty making the leap from personal to professional—BeKnown is hoping to tap into its millions of already attentive users.
The BeKnown Facebook app mimics the features and design of Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare. Some of its core features include a profile detailing your work experience, a news feed for your contacts' updates and actions, the ability to search for people and connect with them, to recommend other users on their work and to earn badges for completing certain professional goals.
There is no doubt, however, that BeKnown faces a challenge in breaking into the crowded professional networking space. Industry leader LinkedIn boasts more than 100 million active users, and BranchOut, another professional social network that launched on Facebook, now has more than 3 million monthly active users.
One unique element that BeKnown brings to the space is its integration with Monster.com job listings. BeKnown users can browse jobs on Monster.com from within the app, in addition to those exclusive to BeKnown. Users can also view which jobs Monster has matched to them based on their information. Companies can join and set up a profile page with information about their business and promote job listings.
Overall, I recommend checking out BeKnown. Setting up your profile is easy: When you join, BeKnown auto-populates some fields based on the information in your Facebook profile. You also have the option to import your profiles from LinkedIn or Monster.com, which makes the setup process a cinch. Its user interface is intuitive and easy to maneuver, and the presence of badges provide incentive to grow your network and participate in the site.
Growing your network from within Facebook may be slow since the app is so new—but the integration with Monster.com—allowing you to search without having to leave Facebook—makes joining the app worth it in itself.