Glassdoor acquires Fishbowl, a semi-anonymous social network and job board, to square up to LinkedIn

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While LinkedIn doubles down on creators for bringing a more human, less manicured element to its networking platform for professionals, a company that has built a reputation for publishing mainly The more messy and human impressions of work life have made an acquisition that could help it compete better with LinkedIn.

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glass door, the platform that lets people post anonymous and candid feedback about the organizations they work for fish bowl – An app that gives users an anonymous option, providing frank employee feedback, as well as joining interest-based conversation groups to chat about work and search for jobs. Glassdoor, which has 55 million users, is already integrating Fishbow content into its core platform, although Fishbowl, with its 1 million users, will continue to operate as a standalone app.

Glassdoor CEO Christian Sutherland-Wong said he sees Fishbow as a logical evolution of how Glassdoor is already being used. Likewise, since people are already seeking feedback on potential employers, it makes sense to bring recruiters and reviews together.


“We’ve always been about workplace transparency,” he said in an interview. “We hope in the future that job seekers will use Glassdoor reviews, and also look at existing professionals in their fields, to get answers from each other.” Fishbow has seen a lot of traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, with its user base growing three-fold in the past year.

The acquisition is being made by Recruit Holdings, the Japanese job listing and tech giant acquired Glassdoor for $1.2 billion in 2018, and the companies are not disclosing any financial terms. San Francisco-based Fishbow — founded in 2016 by Matt Sunbully and Lauren Epin — had raised less than $8 million, according to pitch book Data from a very influential group of investors including Binary Capital, GGV, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Scott Belsky.

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Microsoft-owned LinkedIn exceeds the likes of Glassdoor in terms of size. It now has over 774 million users, making it the largest social media platform ever targeting professionals and content related to their work. But for many, even some of those who use it, the platform leaves something to be desired.

LinkedIn is a trusted way to find yourself, for the public, for those in your professional life, or for recruiters. But LinkedIn largely lacks what ordinary people are honestly talking about at work. Reading about the often self-congratulatory professional development of others, or seeing inspiring words on the professional development of already highly successful personalities, or browsing developments related to your industry that you may have already seen elsewhere, every There is no cup of tea for anyone. This is anodine. sometimes people want Tea has to be dropped.

That’s where something like Glassdoor comes into the picture: The format of making comments anonymous turns it into something anti-Linkedin. It’s caustic, maybe sometimes bitter, talk about the workplace, seems to be balanced by positive words suspicious at times The companies themselves are being seeded. Motivators, persuasive and aspirant are usually not part of the Glassdoor lexicon; Honest, illuminating and serious maybe.

Fishbow will be used to scale this up and Glassdoor will now be given another set of tools to see how it can build its platform beyond workplace reviews. The idea is to target people visiting Glassdoor to read what people think of a company, or to give their comments: they can now jump into conversations with others; And if they’re coming to complain about their employer, now they can even look for a new employer!

Meanwhile, it seems that the shift towards greater authenticity is also a result of the change we have seen in the world of work.

COVID-19 mandated office closures and social distancing have meant that many professionals have been working from home for the past year and a half (and many continue to do so). It has changed how we “come to work”, many of our traditional divisions between work and non-work individuals, and time management has blurred. This has had an inevitable impact on how we see ourselves at work, and what we want out of that engagement. And it has left many feeling isolated and the need for more ways to connect with colleagues.

It said that Glassdoor was acquired to meet this demand. A Harris poll conducted by Glassdoor found that 48% of employees felt isolated from coworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic; 42% of employees felt their careers stalled because of a lack of in-person connections; And 45% of employees look forward to going hybrid or working full-time – Glassdoor believes all areas can be addressed with better tools for communicating with people (like Fishbowl).

Of course, it remains to be seen whether Glassdoor can convert its visitors to use the new Fishbow-powered devices, but if that’s actually the population of users looking for a new kind of LinkedIn — there are certainly enough that. love complain about it – so maybe this cold is a version of that.

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