Facebook at Work
Thursday 4th December 2014
This week, the Financial Times reported that social media giant Facebook has a new project underway: ‘Facebook at Work’ — a service aimed at enterprise customers, allowing them to chat with colleagues and “collaborate over documents”.
While the anonymous source quoted by the paper claims users will be allowed to maintain separate personal and professional accounts, it could bring the social media practices of many workplaces into sharp focus.
More than a social network for businesses, this tool for collaboration is intended to help businesses increase productivity, boost creativity, and foster engagement. And while this is already a busy market with products such as HipChat, Campfire, Slack and Salesforce’s Chatter, Facebook has a distinct advantage, as many users will already be familiar with its look and feel.
The well-known format of Facebook’s groups and newsfeed will help businesses to avoid initial investment, or having to engage employees in a new program. If Facebook funds the product through its traditional advertising model, this could make the product particularly attractive to small and medium sized businesses; although companies may be put off if they currently operate a ban on social media in the workplace.