Identified wants to beat LinkedIn by mining Facebook

Identified is a new company that wants to take on LinkedIn in the professional social network space by leveraging Facebook.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor on

Identified, a new search engine for professionals founded in 2010, allows you to see how you appear when companies and professionals look you up online. Identified hopes to beat LinkedIn by using its search technology for organizing and categorizing the professional information found on Facebook.

Only 47 percent of Facebook users enter their professional information on the social network, but Identified thinks this is enough to thwart the competition. LinkedIn, which recently saw its stock jump a bit over Facebook partnership rumors, filed for an IPO in January 2011 and traded its first shares in May 2011. The company's shares, which were initially priced at $45, surged on the first day by doubling in offering price, and eventually settled in the $80 range.

So how exactly is LinkedIn going to be challenged? Identified gives each profile a professional brand score, based on the sum of three individual scores: an education score, work score, and network score. You can increase your score by adding professional information and expanding your network. Identified also shows you how relevant you are to particular searches that companies and other professionals are making when looking for people like you.

So far, Identified says it has indexed and scored over 40 million professionals, 60,000 companies, and 8,000 universities. If you want to join them, the company lists the following steps to get started:

  1. Enter information about your education and work history (or pull it from Facebook).
  2. Get your Identified score – the sum of your education score, work score, and network score.
  3. Search for other professionals, companies, and universities on Identified.
  4. Edit your profile, expand your network, and improve your score over time.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Identified was founded by Brendan Wallace and Adeyemi Ajao, two Stanford Graduate School of Business graduates. At the university, it saw an 80 percent sign-up rate in a week before being shut down by the administration. Identified then raised $5.5 million from then Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Draper Fisher Jurvetson's Tim Draper, Bill Draper, and other investors. The company says hundreds of companies (including Barclays, Disney, Google, Levi Strauss, McKinsey, MTV, and Sequoia Capital) are using Identified every day to search for professionals.

"We began Identified as a recruiting site to connect job applicants with companies, but saw the power in providing search results based on people's online networks -- not just the standard metrics of education and work experience," Identified co-founder Brendan Wallace said in a statement. "Nobody had ever attempted to quantify the value of a person's online network. We saw that companies cared as much about a person's network as they did about their education and work experience. So we built Identified to show people how they appear to world based not only on what they know, but who they know."

"After a year of engineering Identified to better catalog the relationships between people and institutions, we're proud to be launching our new search technology today," Identified co-founder Adeyemi Ajao said in a statement. "What Facebook has built for the social graph, Identified is building for the professional graph. Identified is making the connections in the professional world more accessible, meaningful and relevant using the power of social data."


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