A team of former Tinder employees, led by Tinder’s original CTO Ryan Ogle, are today launching a new app aimed at professional networking. The app, called Ripple, aims to be a sort of mobile-first alternative to LinkedIn that addresses some of the problems common to the aging, now Microsoft-owned business networking platform.
LinkedIn today has a heavy focus on job searching and head hunting, which is only a subset of professional networking, and is plagued with issues like unwanted connection requests and inbox spam, among other things.
In addition, LinkedIn came about in the days of the desktop web, which has since limited its abilities to fully take advantage of what mobile has to offer, explains Ogle.
However, he’s careful to clarify that Ripple (not to be confused with the cryptocurrency, by the way), isn’t just a “Tinder for business networking.”
Rather it takes some of the psychological principles that helped Tinder become a top app in its own market, and has repurposed those for use in professional networking.
“You have to address the problems with professional networking itself. It isn’t as easy as just throwing profiles up on a screen,” Ogle says of competing apps that have tried to enter the business networking space in the past.
“People have misconstrued why Tinder succeeded,” he continues. “Certainly, the swipe was interesting, engaging and fun. But the reasons why Tinder succeeded were far deeper than that. We thought a lot about the psychology of networking and the problems…what holds people back and prevents them from achieving what they want to achieve.”
On other dating platforms, it was common to allow people to message anyone they liked. Tinder, on the other hand, shifted the focus as to who’s next, not who you tried to reach and who rejected you.
In this way, Tinder addressed the stress that comes with being either the pursued or the pursuer. It only connects you when a match is mutually agreed upon, and it doesn’t show you a history of your past “likes.”
With Ripple, the goal is to take a similar problem-solving approach to business networking’s challenges, which differ from those in the dating world.
Ripple got its start as an internal Tinder hackathon project. But instead of introducing business networking as a Tinder feature (as Bumble has now done), the company realized it deserved to be its own app.