Will Businesses Embrace Facebook at Work?

by Matt Klassen on December 11, 2015

facebookworkWith Facebook at Work, the enterprise-oriented professional version of the namesake’s popular social network, expected to launch in the coming months after a year of testing, one of the key questions being asked is whether businesses will actually adopt it, or whether years of seeing productivity dip due to wasted time on Facebook will skew perceptions of this new network.

Admittedly it wouldn’t surprise me if companies were wary of Facebook at Work, particularly given that the new service geared towards workplace collaboration and communication looks essentially like its social network sibling, with a news feed, the ability to ‘like’ various things, and a private message component.

But while many may already hate Facebook for its time-wasting abilities, it is for that reason that Facebook at Work may be exactly what companies looking for, as in a world with increasingly complicated, Big Data driven communication, collaboration, and customer service solutions, I’m sure there are many looking for the comfortable familiarity that comes with such ubiquity.  I mean, what could go wrong by allowing Facebook into the workplace?

It should be noted that while there are significant similarities between regular Facebook and Facebook at Work, the latter does provide some enterprise specific features, such as increased security, analytics, and customer support tools, as well as avoiding many of the productivity pitfalls of the public network (sorry folks, no Candy Crush).

But while it seems like a manifestly horrible idea to me to allow Facebook into the workplace, here are a few reasons from ZDNet why many will undoubtedly hitch their wagons to Facebook’s enterprise social network:

First, as I briefly mentioned, the greatest draw of Facebook at Work is that it is a familiar interface, meaning no training is required; you and your staff most likely already know how to use it.

Second, most collaboration tools mimic Facebook anyway, as the enterprise market is filled with service providers who have simply taken what Facebook offers and given it a twist for business clients.

Third, it’s more than likely that the price will be right, as Facebook depends far more on advertising revenue than it does enterprise subscription revenue, although the latter could prove to be a steady secondary revenue stream for the company.

Finally, the world of enterprise collaboration is still open and ripe for the picking. As ZDNet’s  Larry Dignan writes, Collaboration is something that everyone needs, everyone uses and no one is satisfied with what’s on the market today.”

In the end, if Facebook is able to alleviate the time-wasting features while bolstering the productivity and collaboration possibilities of its social network, the reality is that instead of asking ‘why’ businesses should adopt Facebook at Work, the question will likely be ‘why not?’

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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