Shapr has been described as LinkedIn meets Tinder. It’s a social discovery app that promises to help you build your relationships and grow your network. In a matter of a minute or two each day, Shapr delivers recommendations about who you should meet. It provides helpful tags to sort for common interests, space for a bio and a link to your LinkedIn profile. I’ve used the app for a few months now and was matched with about 100 people. Of those people, I’ve spoken with about 15 and connected in person with only one.
Shapr does a few things well, but their positioning of helping their users meet “inspiring people” is an overstatement. Merely filling out a Shapr profile isn’t enough to make someone inspiring, and there is no vetting for inspiring people. And the notion that the app helps you “Shape your life,” is way too aspirational. Truer is their statement, “Swipe for 1 minute each day and make the connections you didn’t expect.” Shapr makes it easier to grow your network by applying the best of dating apps’ functionality to business.
In the best-case scenario, you’ll connect with a few interesting professionals on Shapr. In the worst, it’ll be an addicting waste of time. While the app does its best to be helpful, a few small additions would make a big difference. These include providing quality and engagement scores for those with whom you are considering connecting. The engagement scores should indicate how often they respond and if they have ever met anyone in person or spoken over the phone, and the latter could be verified by both parties.
The greatest gift Shapr provides is reminding its users to build and cultivate their network daily. I love the concept, and it’s especially powerful when applied to your existing LinkedIn connections as a rule of thumb — until, that is, LinkedIn decides to compete in this market.