In a move that should surprise very few people, Facebook is developing a new product (again) called Facebook at Work that lets people do, basically, exactly that. Facebook at work.
Facebook at Work So You Can Facebook at Work
Facebook at Work will pretty much act like a company’s Intranet on steroids, allowing people to use the popular social media site to message colleagues, connect with other people in their professional network, and collaborate on work. These features will be free from the typical distractions found on a person’s personal Facebook feed.
In true Facebook fashion and remaining secretive, no comment has been issued from Zuckerberg or anyone from Facebook. However, if Facebook at Work is indeed a reality and not just another media-hyped “what if?”, Facebook certainly has its work cut out for itself, pitting the site against the already-top-dogs in the professional communication game: Google, Microsoft, Box, Salesforce.com, and LinkedIn.
The advantage we can see of Facebook at Work is that it will be a seemingly seamless transition for users already familiar with the Facebook layout and functionality. This is, of course, assuming that Facebook stays with its tried and true look and structure.
By now, employers should probably realize that employees get on Facebook during the day. No shock there. Especially in the more creative fields. But there remains that taboo and risk of using Facebook at work and getting caught. Or ending up posting something dumb. Like this guy.
(Note: Seriously, if you post something like that on Facebook at work and are friends with your boss on Facebook, you deserve whatever comes your way. Get serious, people.)
What can Facebook at Work do?
Facebook at Work could potentially eliminate scenarios like this one, given users will know first and foremost the only people that will read their updates are professionals and their coworkers. The occasional cat will most likely still be appropriate. After all, it’s why the Internet was invented. (Thanks, Al Gore.)
Facebook at Work, if a reality, would be Facebook’s way to stay competitive in the market. Where Microsoft has Yammer, and Salesforce uses Chatter, Facebook at Work will allow users to message colleagues privately. Google Docs, Box, and Dropbox dominate the document collaboration, Facebook at Work will be a new force. Then there’s the obvious LinkedIn social network aspect. Facebook seems to want to take over the world. Facebook for everything. Facebook at Work.
Facebook at Work and the Future
As we said, Facebook has its work cut out for itself if they proceed with Facebook at Work. How do you differentiate yourself and gain users from the other already-successful apps and networks? And how is this going to integrate into a user’s profile, if at all? According to Wired, “If Facebook could be the engine running the workplace, then it would have a captive audience, which would make the platform all the more appealing to its real end users — advertisers.