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Facebook To Unveil “Facebook For Work” For Office Use

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Facebook is all set to launch a workplace friendly version of its popular social networking platform. According to the reports published by several reputed tech websites, Facebook’s development team has been working on an enterprise ready social platform (dubbed as “Facebook for Work”) for quite some time. Although there is no detailed information available regarding the feature list or the launch date of the new platform, reports suggest that the development work for “Facebook for Work” is complete and it is now undergoing real life testing in several companies.

If Facebook does decide to launch “Facebook For Work” in the near future, it would mark a significant milestone in the social networking giant’s online journey. The move would allow the company to move beyond its traditional user base and expand its operations into enterprise space. While Facebook is the preferred choice for personal and social interactions, it is regarded as a productivity killer by businesses and is even banned in most organizations. By launching an enterprise ready social networking solution, the company hopes to compete head-to-head with established websites like LinkedIn, Yammer and Chatter.

As far as the functionality offered by the new platform is concerned, reports suggest that “Facebook for Work” would be a cross between LinkedIn, Google Drive and, of course, Facebook. The new site would allow the users to chat with co-workers, interact with professional contacts and is even rumored to support collaboration of documents. In addition, all the popular features of the current Facebook website (such as news feed and groups) would be available in the new platform as well. By incorporating popular features from its current platform, the company hopes to transition the Facebook experience to enterprise space and gain more acceptability among businesses.

Since confidentiality is an important aspect of business conversations, the “Facebook for Work” profiles of users would be totally different from their personal Facebook profiles. The news feeds for the two profiles would be totally disconnected as well to ensure that the confidential data of an organization does not appear in the news feed section of an user’s personal Facebook profile. Reports also suggest that “Facebook for Work” would be hosted on totally different servers from the personal Facebook platform to eliminate the risk of merging of personal and enterprise profiles of users.

Although “Facebook for Work” is an exciting development for corporate users, Facebook would really need to address the privacy concerns of organizations before hoping to become the dominant enterprise social networking platform. The company has had a poor record on the privacy front so far so organizations would be wary of trusting the new platform for their internal communications. In order to succeed, Facebook must clearly spell out how it manages and stores enterprise data (including communications) and whether or not it mines it for profit. In addition, the new platform must be able to demonstrate that it boosts productivity instead of killing it if it hopes to find widespread acceptance among business users. So while “Facebook for Work” sounds like a great idea, the social networking giant needs to do a lot more to convince businesses to migrate to its new platform.

December 26, 2014

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