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OPLIN 4cast #416: Facebook at Work

Posted in 4cast

Facebook @workA few weeks ago, The Financial Times reported that Facebook plans to build a version of Facebook for workplace communication, called simply “Facebook at Work.” While the FT report garnered a lot of attention, this news was leaked as long ago as last June and is now just being reported with Facebook’s blessing. The many reactions to the news in the technology media gravitated toward two different opinions: Facebook at Work could either have a big impact on the workplace of the future, or it could be a miserable failure.

  • How ‘Facebook at Work’ could alter the social enterprise landscape (CIO | Matt Kapko)  “Social media has slowly percolated into business life, but for the most part it remains a separate function and utility during working hours. No company has successfully made the leap from consumer to enterprise and combined the two together at any scale even remotely similar to Facebook’s 1.35 billion monthly users. Facebook at Work will reportedly look and operate like the traditional version of Facebook, but it will allow users to chat with colleagues, connect with professional contacts and collaborate on documents in a space that’s separate from their personal identities and activities.”
  • ‘Facebook at Work’ could target Google and LinkedIn (MarketWatch | Quentin Fottrell)  “With only 322 million users, LinkedIn is still a minnow compared to Facebook’s Leviathan. Facebook is also a fun social network where people have learned about their own personal brand and how to present themselves online for job hunters who investigate their digital footprint, and could usurp LinkedIn much in the same way a more intuitive iPhone replaced the BlackBerry for both work and play….”
  • Facebook developing ‘Facebook at Work’ service, says report (Wired | Issie Lapowsky)  “The Financial Times reports that although users of Facebook at Work will be able to keep their personal accounts separate, the site will include Facebook staples, including groups and News Feed. And yet, it may be a challenge for Facebook, a company intent on tapping user data for advertising purposes, to convince businesses that their internal documents and conversations will remain confidential on the site.”
  • Facebook at Work? Not so fast. (Re/Code | Kurt Wagner)  “Even though the new product will be separate, Facebook’s tools aren’t associated with many workplace environments. In the financial services industry, for example, the use of Facebook and even personal email accounts is forbidden for both security and productivity reasons. Facebook will need to convince businesses it can be trusted with sensitive information that’s passed around company discussion boards. That’ll be a challenge as Facebook’s trove of user data often rubs people the wrong way — they’ve made a business out of our personal information, after all.”

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