Is ‘Facebook at Work’ Going to Change Workplace Social Media?

Just when we thought Facebook couldn’t get any more pervasive in our lives they’ve announced the upcoming launch of ‘Facebook at Work’ that threatens to steal the limelight from LinkedIn.

facebookatwork

The Concept

Think of it this way—you don’t want to be caught surfing Facebook and “liking” status updates at work, and your employees likely don’t want to be either.

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Until now.

‘Facebook at Work’ actually encourages the use of social media at work in a way that’s similar to some of the offerings currently available from LinkedIn and even Google.

The goal of ‘Facebook at Work’ is to provide users with a tool that will let them chat online with their co-workers and employees, and there are even going to be tools aimed at simplifying workplace collaboration.

The story initially broke in the Financial Times, and right now it’s all being kept under tight wraps by the notoriously secretive company.

According to rumors being circulated, users will be able to create and maintain different accounts for work and personal purposes and the concept is reportedly being worked on at the Facebook London office.

The Details

Just some of the things we may expect to see with ‘Facebook at Work’ include features similar to what we already have with Facebook including groups and a newsfeed, but instead of information being posted via these channels for personal usage, it’s going to be specifically for sharing information amongst employers, employees and coworkers.

The information between business and personal accounts will be kept strictly separated from one another.

According to an article released by Forbes, until now enterprise-based collaboration tools were typically sold to companies and then it was up to that company to market them internally, while “Facebook at Work” completely turns that model on its head.

It’s expected the overall look and interface of the site will look strikingly similar to what we’re used to seeing with Facebook, which can be a smart way to do things because it seems like almost everyone in the world uses or has used the site at some point. Because of this, the site is likely to feel familiar and intuitive for users, despite the new objectives of ‘Facebook at Work.’

The Concerns

While details about the launch of ‘Facebook at Work’ are minimal at best, there are some concerns already being voiced by people in the business and tech worlds—namely, how will organizations react to the potential security risks that could be associated with sharing information in this way?

We’ve seen a lot of controversy in recent years about how Facebook uses and sells information of its participants, so how will this play out when CEOs and business leaders are deciding whether or not this a tool they’d like to use in their own business?

Additionally, there are concerns about whether or not this type of business-based social networking site could actually detract from the quality of work being produced and serve as just another way to socialize at work with little real business purpose or value.

There’s also the notion ‘Facebook at Work’ is going to have to deliver quite a bit in terms of functionality, in order to compete with the messaging and collaboration tools already available for enterprise use.

Proponents of the concept say it’s actually going to be a great benefit for many businesses who have in the past had to pay for expensive and quickly obsolete software programs that are designed to accomplish many of the things Facebook at Work could deliver.

What do you think about the idea of Facebook at Work? Brilliant concept, unnecessary, or a recipe for disaster?

December 5, 2014   Updated :March 20, 2015   facebook, social media, talent management apps, talent management software   

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