Is there a true contender to rival LinkedIn in the professional networking market?

If you're on Facebook, you've probably encountered BranchOut, the newest online environment for professional networking. With a recent cash injection of $25M and growing a rate of 2M new members a week, could BranchOut be LinkedIn's biggest competitor.

It's an interesting thought, and at face value both look to serve similar purposes. However, there is a marked difference. While LinkedIn's members are mostly white collar professionals at the mid-senior level, BranchOut members tend to be younger, and at an earlier stage of their career.

If you're wondering why that is, the answer is simple. BranchOut sits on the Facebook platform.

It is an application that enables members to search companies, and find who among their friends -- and their friends' friends -- work there. BranchOut capitalises on the goldmine of information already stored in individuals' profiles, and pulls business and education information to create a professional network.

But is it really going to rival LinkedIn? Or are the demographic differences going to mean that BranchOut is actually tapping into the percentage of the market not addressed by LinkedIn?

We'd love to hear your thoughts, particularly if you have explored BranchOut.