A group of former Tinder employees including the dating app’s previous chief technology officer Ryan Ogle have created a new app called Ripple. In essence based on the psychology and design of Tinder but specifically for the purpose of networking with professionals in your area.
Founder and CEO of Ripple Ogle unveiled the app at the press event at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Recognising the limitations of other professional networking sites like LinkedIn which are more focused on job searches and headhunting Ripple is intended to be the mobile first answer.
Ripple got its start as a Tinder hackathon project but instead of introducing business networking as a tinder feature, owner of Tinder IAC’s Match Group came to an agreement to create Ripple App Corp as a separate company and fund it. Match Group now has an undisclosed, minority stake in the new app according to Techcrunch. The company has no other outside investment, though the founders have put some of their own money in. In addition to Ogle, other co-founders include Tinder’s first Android developer Paul Cafardo and Tinder lead designer Gareth Johnson.
“You have to address the problems with professional networking itself. It isn’t as easy as just throwing profiles up on a screen,” Ogle said of competitors at the press event.
“People have misconstrued why Tinder succeeded,” he continued. “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.” Tinder took away the fear of acceptance and rejection as it only connected two people who were interested.
Ripple certainly looks and feels a lot like Tinder with the same swiping left or right function and large format photos but will also display jobs, skills and interests. The core of both users agreeing before connecting will remain. It will also allow people to create events and groups and focus on connecting people near you.
But the most controversial feature; a face scan option that allows you to take a picture of someone and try to find them in Ripple. The idea according to Ogle was to do away with the need for business cards. This will spark privacy concerns. Other concerns include people using it for reasons other than professional networking.
Something Ogle emphasised taking very seriously, “That’s going to be one of our big differentiators. We’re going to be very aggressive in eliminating people who are doing things for non-professional reasons,” said Ogle.