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Microsoft’s professional-networking site LinkedIn is today launching a new Tinder-style service that matches people based on criteria such as region, proximity in terms 1st or 2nd-degree network, their work area and other criteria.
Fortunately or unfortunately Microsoft is not entering the lucrative online dating business. The service is for those who are looking for mentorship in a specific area and can match them with those willing to offer career advice.
“We have done research and found that among the senior ranks of our user base, nine out of 10 people have said they want to give back,” said LinkedIn’s Hari Srinivasan, Head of Identity Products at LinkedIn. “Paying it forward is a powerful force. All of them received help on the way up and now want to find a way to give that help back to others,” he added.
For now, LinkedIn has hand-selected a list of potential mentors. This list of mentors will be shown to people who are interested in getting mentoring. Once people select the mentors of their choice, mentors can select among the people to whom they would prefer to mentor.
Mentors can select their preferences like they want to mentor people only from their region, or people who are in their etc. Similarly, a mentee can select their own preferences. For example, they can specify the interested area in which they would like to receive advice. Once connected, mentor and mentee can message each other.
It is a free service and rolling out to LinkedIn members in San Francisco and Australia.