Thursday, 15 January 2015 10:56

Facebook finds way to further legitimise Facebook use ‘At Work’

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Employees idling away their time on Facebook to avoid work is one thing, but a new ‘Facebook at Work’ app aims to be the in-company social network your company uses.

When it comes to the ‘enterprise social network’ space, there’s a lot of apps that want to be what your company uses to stay connected to itself.

From LinkedIn’s new tool to connect co-workers, as reported by Recode, through to apps such as Slack, Convo, Microsoft’s Yammer and several others as reported by TechCrunch, social networking at work is hotting up.

TechCrunch reported that Facebook was working on its ‘Facebook At Work’ app six months ago, but we’re finally seeing the first sign of a public release - in pilot form - at last.

iTWire received a note from Facebook’s Australian PR company noting that ‘Facebook at Work is a separate experience that gives employees the ability to connect and collaborate efficiently using Facebook tools — many that they’re likely already using such as News Feed, Groups, messages and events.’

The explanation continues, stating: ‘Co-workers can stay in touch with each other in the same way they stay in touch with friends and family via Facebook: Facebook at Work offers the familiar look and feel as Facebook and has the same tools.’

Of note is that ‘Facebook at Work was created completely for use within a company – that means employees' Facebook at Work info is safe, secure, confidential and completely separate from their personal Facebook profile. The info shared among employees is only accessible to people in the company.’

Available in the iOS App Store and available shortly in the Google Play store, Facebook says it is ‘looking forward to getting feedback’ from its ‘pilot partners to build the best possible product for them and their employees.’

More information is to be shared ‘in the coming months’ but TechCrunch has more detail in its follow-up story, "How Facebook At Work Could Shrink Faceless Enterprises". 

There’s no word on eventual pricing as yet, or how else the service will be monetised, but there are ‘no apps or ads’ currently in ‘Facebook At Work’.

Facebook’s Lars Rasmussen told TechCrunch that: “Facebook at Work’s strength is that we’ve spent ten years and incorporated feedback from 1 billion active users. All of that is embedded now in the same product but adapted for different use cases.”

Rasmussen also notes that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses Facebook’s own internal implementation of Facebook At Work to make internal company announcements.

Lars Rasmussen was also working on Google Wave when he was previously at Google, so this product is clearly an evolution from those earlier ideas, telling TechCrunch: “I can say that the challenges of making work more efficient is something that has been on my mind for a long time, and I come to it with a lot of passion and the knowledge of a failure of doing this at a different company”.

You’ll find more details at TechCrunch’s story here

Facebook is headed by its founder who, at least at one point, thought his users were foolish to trust him. 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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