Monster’s BeKnown Tightens Integration With Facebook

A European version of BeKnown’s iPhone app was released today by Monster, the latest in a string of enhancements and features the company has been making in its careers-oriented Facebook network.

Last week, at Facebook’s f8 developers conference, Monster said it was tightening the integration between its BeKnown networking app, and Facebook, on which it built the professional network. The enhancements will make it easy for BeKnown members who update their business profile to add those updates to their more social Facebook profile.

In the weeks before, Monster released smartphone apps for the iPhone and Android devices, allowing members to update their BeKnown profiles, send messages, make connections and, naturally, search Monster for jobs. Now, European members of the BeKnown network have the same capabilities. An Android version was released in Europe previously.

With the sweeping changes being made to Facebook, Monster’s decision to build its network-in-a-network on the social site seems almost prescient. Despite the current roil by the users who will have to get used to the changes Facebook is making, they eventually will. As they fill in their new Timelines, some of it will spill over into their BeKnown profiles. As Monster’s announcement last week noted, the opposite will also happen.

Sure, this is going to take some time. My colleague, Lance Haun, has an insightful post on TLNT about the furor over the Facebook changes, which, incidentally, makes for an excellent case study about change management. But once over the angst, and using some of the new Lifestyle apps, Facebook members who now number somewhere around 800 million, will find the frictionless sharing of their lives to be second nature. That is, assuming (which is far from certain) that Facebook can resolve the growing, and righteous concerns about user privacy.

Monster, which like all job boards that host resumes, has broad experience with privacy and security issues. So when it launched its BeKnown app (it’s an app; it’s a network; it’s all the same), it built a wall between users’ social Facebook friends, and members of their professional network. BeKnown users control what is shared across that wall.

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Now when BeKnown launched, it pulled in data from LinkedIn, as well as Facebook. But LinkedIn shut down the Monster connection (and some others);  an obvious move to protect its own growing recruitment profit center. For now, that matters. But with Facebook’s “frictionless sharing,” much data will flow to the site without the need for users to actively post it, and, even, when users log out of Facebook. (That’s a whole privacy controversy already underway.)

Still, I suspect users will want to add some things to those Timelines that are rolling out now, and among the first and simplest will be to add employment information. On BeKnown you can fill in the employment blanks and leverage the connections there when it comes time to job hunt.

Is it possible that the Facebook changes, along with the apps that are coming, will make the lack of a LinkedIn connection irrelevant for Monster and BeKnown? The short answer is “maybe.” But with what Facebook is doing — and the way Monster is staying up with the changes — the case for BeKnown to succeed as a professional network grows stronger.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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