Glassdoor, a platform known for anonymous salary and workplace reviews, has now introduced a Blind-like community feature for anonymous posting to drive user growth. The company is leveraging its Fishbowl acquisition in 2021 to take advantage of features such as interest bowls and company bowls. Glassdoor also refreshed its branding with this launch.
The company took the move to increase its active user base by 55 million — which has remained at a similar level for almost two years.
Glassdoor introduced a community feature — where users can post anonymously — to facilitate conversations based on interests, roles, and industry verticals. Users may choose to disclose parts of their identity such as their job title and the organization they work for when posting. The company has been testing these functions with a select group of users for a month. Now, it is rolling out to all Glassdoor users on web and mobile app.
With this migration, Glassdoor also transferred more than 10,000 interest bowls and 30,000 company-specific bowls — where company verified employees can chat about the workplace — from Fishbowl.
Currently, Glassdoor automatically creates company bowls when they see a large number of employees from one organization on the platform. The company’s CEO Christian Sutherland-Wong said that the headcount threshold for making a company bowl is not fixed. He notes that this feature is a “game changer” in learning about “employee sentiment” in real-time.
Sutherland-Wong told Zero2Billions over the phone that Fishbowl will remain active as a product for now, although most of the features and conversations appear on Glassdoor.
Sutherland-Wonglso mentioned that, over the past few years and due to the pandemic, there has been a need for a workplace-focused conversational platform. So they decided to acquire Fishbowl and work to move its features and community over to Glassdoor.
“What we’ve seen in the last three years — and particularly in the post-COVID world — is that the workplace experience has fundamentally changed. People are more distributed than ever. And you hear of people feeling lonely, cut off from their offices and colleagues,” he said.
The company conducted a survey by The Harris Poll to find that 68% of US workers want an anonymous forum to ask questions of co-workers and leaders within the company. Sutherland-Wong added that one of the reasons for the launch of the chat platform was because there was not much for users to do on Glassdoor other than when they were posting reviews or searching potential employers for jobs.
In 2021, anonymous workplace chat app Blind raised $37 million through investors such as South Korea-based Mainstreet Investment along with Cisco Investments and Pavilion Capital. Reports show that the company says that the app has more than 8 million users on the platform.
Glassdoor has a relatively larger user base it wants to grow. It also wants to attract some Blind users to its own community platform. The company says that, while it wants to protect anonymity, it wants to differentiate its conversation product by creating “constructive space”.
Given that Glassdoor introduced a text-based platform, it will face moderation challenges like any other social network. Currently, the company uses human-based moderation and machine learning, but plans to build more tools such as engaging community moderators.
Sutherland-Wong says the company doesn’t want to monetize community features just yet. He said Glassdoor’s main revenue streams remain to place job advertisements, brand promotions and connecting the company with potential employees. However, the company also mentions it wants to build a feature on top of the enterprise bowl to help companies gain insight into employee feedback. There may be some premium features in the discussion forum in the future.
Glasdoor’s biggest competitor in the professional networking space is LinkedIn, which has more than 900 million active users with lots of new features like AI-powered tools for posting and ad copy and verification for job postings.
Sutherland-Wong argues that LinkedIn focuses on establishing one’s identity and Glassdoor gives people the ability to be anonymous. He said that this made the conversation that took place on Glassdoor “real talk”. Earlier this year, Glassdoor released 140 people — nearly 15% of its workforce.