Facebook’s social networking and collaboration service designed for business use is reportedly launching next month.
First announced in the year 2014, Facebook at Work rises to challenge other social networks that target the business crowd. Enterprise social messaging platforms like Yammer, Slack, Skype, VMWare’s Socialcast and Co all offer tools like messaging, chatting, and an array of networking features to large and small businesses.
On Facebook at Work, users can stay updated with News Feed, join groups to collaborate, send messages and get notifications about what’s most relevant. Only coworkers within the company can see the information employees post in Facebook at Work.
The big feather in Facebook’s cap is its name and clout and this may well decide the rate of success in this field.
The competitor to reckon with could be Slack. Slack is one of the fastest growing apps so far and encompasses clients like government and private agencies. Facebook will have to take on Slack and beat it at its game.
Many businesses look upon employees accessing Facebook for personal ends as it tends to eat into productivity and shifts the focus to planes like sharing vacation photos and gossip. With Facebook taking on a new thrust, the bias against this practice may be softened.
How is Facebook at Work different from Facebook? Facebook at Work is a separate account that is associated with your company. Rather than having friends as your audience, you create and join groups with your coworkers to be a part of relevant conversations.
“We know that people use Facebook to connect and collaborate,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to CNET last year. “The same way we connect people, we want to connect coworkers. Internally at Facebook we’ve been using our product for years, and now we’re ready to start testing Facebook at Work with a handful of partners.”
The official site highlights the similarities and differences of the personal and business models. “Your work account is only visible to people at your company and is separate from your personal account. What you share to your work account can only be seen by people in your company, and what you share to your personal account can only be seen based on your privacy settings.”
Earlier impressions were that Facebook at Work would be offered free. Now Facebook is said to offer its service on a per seat pricing model. Currently, the platform has some 400-plus beta testers.