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Can Facebook Make a Successful Play at Workforce Communications?

September 18, 2015

Social networking has already made its way to the workplace, with popular platforms like Slack and Microsoft’s Yammer dominating the market. In fact, Slack is one of the fastest growing startup companies and counted more than half a million daily active users among its customers earlier this year.

Facebook wants a piece of the workplace action and last year announced a new Facebook at Work project. The solution would use Facebook’s wildly popular interface to offer a contained, internal network for businesses that is separate from users’ personal Facebook accounts. Some sources are reporting that a freemium version of the platform could be available before the end of the year, going head-to-head against Slack and Microsoft.

The company’s competitive bent is that companies will save money on training employees on the offering since so many people are already familiar with Facebook. Facebook at Work will offer a news feed like the standard interface, through which employees can communicate and companies can post updates on internal news.

Facebook is apparently already using a similar network internally for communications, and is basing the new offering on that design. Given that Facebook is currently blocked on many corporate networks as a productivity killer and waste of company resources and bandwidth, the Work flavor could give the company an easy way to get back in the good graces of the enterprise.

Image via Shutterstock

Given the popularity of Slack and Yammer, which boasts more than 8 million registered users, it will be interesting to see if the enterprise is willing to embrace Facebook. With the popularity of the personal app, there’s a good chance the company can equal its success in the workplace. However, given the stigma attached to personal Facebook usage at work, the company may have some education and spin ahead of it to plead its case as a workforce collaboration tool.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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