Divine And De Branch

19 04 2012

In the wake of Facebook’s $1-b-as-in-billion purchase of Instagram, everyone and their brother now has their thinking caps on, trying to come up with the Next Killer App that might interest Zuckerberg and Company. And given that their IPO is only weeks away, the cash drawer will be running over with C-notes.

If I were a betting man, though, I venture to say that FB already has its eyes on some really cool apps that keep eyeballs stuck in one place. And my bet is on BranchOut, the LinkedIn competitor that suddenly has 25 million users.

Why, you ask, would someone get excited about a company with only one-sixth the number of eyeballs as the leader? Simple. BranchOut works seamlessly within Facebook, and Facebook has nearly six times as many eyeballs as LinkedIn.

And that, my friend, is all that really matters.

If networking with professionals is what you want to do, then it really couldn’t be easier than with BranchOut. Yes, arguments can be made for keeping personal and professional networks separate, but the extra work of curating content and contacts can be burdensome. One could also claim that employment history is no one’s business outside of LinkedIn. But it’s not like we don’t already post a lot of personal employment history on FB already. Thanks to Timeline, we are encouraged to back-fill every last little detail of our lives.

Facebook would be foolish to not take a long look at Branch Out. Right now FB’s primary quest should be not so much gaining more eyeballs, but keeping the current ones glued to the same place. It’s called stickiness. The Instagram purchase gave FB a lot more stickiness; BranchOut could achieve likewise.

I fully expect Facebook to continue its buying ways in the near term, filling in gaps in its service model. We already spend a bunch of time there every day anyway. I see no reason for FB to not add more glue to the fly trap.Sticky Note

Dr “Sticky Note” Gerlich

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