Glassdoor Acquires Fishbowl, a Semi-Anonymous Social Network, and Job Board, to Square Up to LinkedIn

Glassdoor Acquires Fishbowl, a Semi-Anonymous Social Network, and Job Board, to Square Up to LinkedIn

While LinkedIn focuses on creators to add a more personal, less polished element to its professional networking platform, a firm that has earned a reputation for publicizing the more untidy and human aspects of work life has made an acquisition that might help it compete more effectively with LinkedIn. Glassdoor has purchased Fishbowl, an app that allows users to anonymously submit frank employee reviews, join interest-based conversation groups to speak about work, and search for employment. Glassdoor, which has 55 million monthly users, is already incorporating Fishbowl material into its main platform, while Fishbowl will continue to function as a distinct app for the time being.

Glassdoor’s CEO, Christian Sutherland-Wong, sees Fishbowl as a natural progression of how Glassdoor already being utilized. Similarly, because individuals are already looking for input on potential employers, bringing recruiting and reviews closer together makes logical. In an interview, he stated, “We’ve always been for workplace openness.” “We anticipate that in the future, job searchers will rely on Glassdoor ratings as well as current expertise in their sectors for answers.” During the Covid-19 epidemic, Fishbowl gained a lot of traction, with its user base tripling in the previous year.

Recruit Holdings, the Japanese employment listings and internet behemoth that bought Glassdoor for $1.2 billion in 2018, is making the deal, and the businesses are not releasing any financial specifics. According to PitchBook statistics, San Francisco-based Fishbowl, launched in 2016 by Matt Sunbulli and Loren Appin, has received less than $8 million from a diverse group of investors, including Binary Capital, GGV, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Scott Belsky. LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, dwarfs the likes of Glassdoor in terms of scale. With over 774 million members, it is by far the most popular social networking site for professionals and their work-related material. However, the platform leaves plenty to desire for many, even those of those who utilize it.

LinkedIn is a good place to start if you want to make a public profile, one that people in your professional life can discover, or one that recruiters can find. However, ordinary individuals discussing work in an open and honest manner are mainly absent from LinkedIn. It is not everyone’s cup of tea to read about other people’s often self-congratulatory professional developments, to see motivational words on professional development from already hugely successful personalities, or to browse developments in your industry that you have probably already seen elsewhere. It is inoffensive. Some individuals simply want their tea spilled.

That is where a site like Glassdoor comes in: its anonymous commenting system transforms it into a sort of anti-LinkedIn. The acerbic, possibly even cruel, discussion about work, balanced out by pleasant comments, seems too suspected of seeded by the corporations themselves on a regular basis. Glassdoor’s vocabulary does not include words like motivational, inspiring, or aspirational; however, it does include words like honest, enlightening, and sobering.

Glassdoor will employ Fishbowl to supplement this and provide it another set of tools to examine how it can expand its platform beyond workplace evaluations. The goal is to target those who come to Glassdoor to read what others have to say about a firm or to leave their own comments: they can now also join in on conversations with others; and if they are coming to complain about their workplace, they can now hunt for a new one! Meanwhile, it appears that the trend toward greater authenticity is partly a reflection of the transformation we have witnessed in the workplace.

Because of the compulsory office closures and social isolation imposed by Covid-19, many professionals have spent the previous year and a half working from home (and many continue to do so). Many of our old barriers between work and non-work personalities, as well as time management, have blurred because of this. That has inevitably influenced how we view ourselves at work and what we want to gain from our involvement. It also made many individuals feel alone and in need of new methods to engage with their coworkers. Of course, whether Glassdoor can persuade its visitors to utilize the new Fishbowl-powered capabilities remains to be seen, but if there is a community of people yearning for a new form of LinkedIn — and there are surely enough who love to moan about it — then this may be one version of that.