Match Group Launches New App to Compete with LinkedIn

Match Group
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Match Group, the company who brought online dating into the mainstream first with iconic dating site Match.com and then with its acquisition of Tinder, is looking for new business opportunities outside the dating industry. This week at CES, the company announced the new app Ripple for those wanting to network for career opportunities.

The app is positioned to be a direct competitor of LinkedIn, a popular career building and networking site. According to Ripple executives, LinkedIn’s framework is too stagnant for users to effectively network, and ends up being primarily a database of resumes. LinkedIn also doesn’t do much to create stickiness for people to update their profiles and check in regularly, unless they are actively seeking clients or trying to find a job.

Ripple borrows the matching game from Tinder to help with its stickiness. When you launch the app, Ripple presents you with people who might be a good professional match, based on interests, people you are connected to, events you’re attending, and groups you are part of. Ripple also includes your social networks like Twitter and Medium, so potential employers or work colleagues can see what you’re posting and what is most current (encouraging you to be more active). Users are able to decide whether someone is a good fit, and then connect with them.

The idea with Ripple is that more folks stay engaged because they are constantly being presented with, meeting, and connecting with new people, much like they do with dating app Tinder.

“Linkedin was created more than 15 years ago, but it’s a web-based platform shoehorned into mobile,” Ripple CEO Ryan Ogle told website Digital Trends. Ogle was formerly chief technical officer of Tinder. “When I go to LinkedIn, 90 percent of the people are recruiters or trying to get something from me...We want to build the opposite, a user-first network [and] match people with opportunities,” Ogle added.

Ripple isn’t the first networking app to be launched by a dating app company. Last fall, popular female-friendly dating app Bumble launched Bumble Bizz, aimed at competing with LinkedIn and offering a female-friendly way of connecting. Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe wanted to provide a safe place for females to network without getting hit on by their male colleagues and potential employers, which has been an issue on other career networking sites.

eHarmony launched its own job networking site in 2016, dubbed Elevated Careers, which helps match qualified candidates with employers looking for new talent. The company employs its dating matching process to users looking for work, figuring in personality, skills, and workplace culture to match effectively.

Will Ripple change the way people network, much like Tinder disrupted dating? We’ll see what happens over the coming months.