Facebook has come a long way. Originally designed as a networking tool to be exclusively used by college students, Facebook now has 1.44 billion active users, making it the world’s largest social network. Today, businesses take Facebook seriously and utilize it for their marketing initiatives. However, it’s still viewed as a time-waster by many office managers who restrict or ban employees from accessing it.
Facebook is looking to change this perception, as well as capitalize on its popularity, with its new business application, Facebook at Work. Essentially, Facebook at Work provides companies with an inter-office communication tool that functions like regular Facebook. This can be advantageous for workers who are active on Facebook, making it easier to use than traditional communication tools that would be completely new to them. Plus, the familiarity of the Facebook interface may even get workers to be more willing to use it–something you want in an office communication tool.
Rest assured; unlike regular Facebook, which makes its posts available for the entire world to see, as well as has a reputation for monitoring personal messages, and even conducting social experiments on its users, Facebook at Work keeps the content private so that it’s only visible to users within your organization, whom you give permission to.
According to Larry Dignan of ZDNet, there are a number of reasons why this expansion makes sense, including:
- Engagement during the workday is important for Facebook’s business.
- Without work engagement, Facebook might lose users as they grow older and move into the professional world.
- A professional version of Facebook might convince enterprises to unblock the social network.
Will Facebook at Work… Work?
It’s difficult to tell for sure. Even though it’s a solid business communications tool, Facebook has a lot of PR work to do in order to change what business owners think about it, both in terms of productivity and trust. ZDNet’s Charlie Osborne feels like the success of Facebook at Work is unlikely, citing the extremely protective stance towards data that today’s companies are taking, as well as Facebook’s previously-mentioned reputation for its handling of consumer data.
Additionally, one has to wonder just how successful Facebook will be at transitioning a product, known all over the world as a fun social tool, to a legitimate business tool. Granted, the components are all there for Facebook at Work to improve office communications, but Facebook’s reputation precedes its latest business offering.
Another concern that business owners should consider is how tools like Facebook at Work will affect network security. Many companies block Facebook for security reasons, and an employee that gets comfortable sharing sensitive corporate information over Facebook at Work may grow too comfortable sharing the same information over their regular Facebook account.
When it comes to tools like this, it’s important to keep in mind that every company is different and Facebook at Work may be the exact communication tool that you’ve been looking for. At PACE Technical Services, we’re familiar with the variety of communication tools that companies can choose from, like VoIP. In fact, it’s our mission to equip businesses like yours with the best solutions for your needs. Therefore, before selecting the next communication solution for your business, give us a call at 905.763.7896.