Late last year we reported that Facebook was rumoured to have created a new platform for businesses called ‘Facebook at Work’. This week the company has confirmed it to be true, with the announcement of apps for iOS and Android devices as well as a website version of the platform. It is currently being tested by a small group of businesses and provides the opportunity for employees to create internal social networks.
The new platform is similar in functionality to other corporate social networks such as Yammer and Slack, whereby businesses can set up internal micro networks accessible only to employees. It is built to look and act like the original Facebook site and is based on the internal platform Facebook employees currently use. It will comprise of a Newsfeed and groups, allowing employees to connect through instant message, hold group meetings in a chat room and share news and events.
Lars Rasmussen, engineering director at Facebook said they have been effectively working on creating this platform for ten years as it is based on the company’s own internal communication structure. Adding, in that time the 1.35 billion current Facebook users have become familiar to the platform, making the company confident it can create a successful platform for business.
This is an innovative step for Facebook but there are still questions that remain, for instance how the app will the priced, will there be advertising and who owns the data shared on the site?
Intellectual property is a major business risk and is something Facebook will need to address if it wants to carve out a place in business social networking. But even if all these issues are addressed, it still remains to be seen if the new social networking platform will be welcomed and utilised by businesses.
What features would the Facebook at Work platform need to have to get you to join? Let us know in the comments below.
If you are interested in learning more about using Facebook for businesses check out these posts: How to boost your Facebook Post, How to schedule, edit, and boost and Facebook Page post, Facebook tips for your business.
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