Facebook | 11.18.14
Within the next few months, we may be seeing ‘Facebook at Work,’ a Facebook for business site focused on enterprise collaboration and professional networking. According to sources that have spoken to The Financial Times, this new service will be completely separate from Facebook’s consumer site. Instead the new interface will allow Facebook users message colleagues, collaborate on work projects, and form professional connections.
Facebook hasn’t commented on the rumor yet, but if it is true, it will stand to challenge rivals like Google, Salesforce.com, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. Here are the latest updates we gathered from the head tech sources:
“The new Facebook enterprise collaboration tool has been tested inside of Facebook for the last six months and is now being piloted by a small group of companies.” (Tech Crunch). Facebook will not comment on the final product or what it will look like, but the tool will release soon, possibility within the next few months.
Facebook may currently be piloting the new product internally within its own company along with Facebook Groups, which it released today as a standalone app for micro sharing and social group communication. According to Business Insider, Facebook employees are using the new service “instead of email, as their group chat room, to collaborate on documents, to IM, and share news.”
Multiple sources noted that ‘Facebook at Work’ will look like users’ personal Facebook pages with a News Feed, Messenger, and Groups, but will exist as a separate entity from the original Facebook site for security and privacy purposes. This should minimize the chance that a user’s professional and personal Facebook lives intervene.
While the rise of business collaboration tools has failed to catch, Facebook is hoping that users will become familiar and comfortable with using ‘Facebook at Work,’ as much as they have using the original Facebook site. The key selling point to get many users on board with Facebook at Work will be the ability to separate work identities from personal identities. However, a big issue remains on the level of privacy of the business information being shared across this enterprise collaboration tool, which remains unclear. Nonetheless, when bugs are removed and there’s a level a trust established, ‘Facebook at Work’ could prove to be a big hit.