Some companies go as far as banning Facebook from their offices in order to avoid distraction and multi-tasking. Those policies might need to be amended soon, as it’s been reported by the Financial Times that the social network is creating a spin-off product focused on workplace communications, called, you guessed it, ‘Facebook at Work’.
At this point, there is a lot of speculation about what the platform would entail, but it sounds like Facebook is taking on workplace social networks like Yammer, and it could extend as far as creating an online professional networking platform to take a bite out of LinkedIn. The FT says that an iteration of ‘Facebook at Work’ has been used within Facebook for a little while now, and they’re working on tailoring that experience for other companies. One thing we can expect is a similar interface, with the Newsfeed and chat functions front and centre.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook plan on rolling this out (and inevitably, monetising). As has become the norm with Facebook, advertising opportunities for digital marketers are very important to the platform’s success. If people are using the same platform for B2B and B2C, where do we draw the line between personal and professional? And would that have an impact on the type of advertising that they would be able to run? For example, the products/services that are used to advertise on LinkedIn are very different to the products that you would push out through Facebook, and so is the price.
Another key to adoption is security. Will companies have enough confidence in the security of ‘Facebook at Work’ to share confidential data through the platform?
At this speculative stage, we have more questions than answers, but it will be exciting to keep up with this potentially huge release. Stay tuned.