Facebook is currently the network with the most users in the world: more than 1150 million people have an account (according to a study published about six months ago by the company Leverage New Age Media). However, even though many companies have a corporate profile on Facebook, the platform is perceived as a social network unlike other networks, such as LinkedIn, which have positioned themselves among Internet users as professional networks. Now this could change as Mark Zuckerberg’s company has just announced the imminent launch of Facebook at Work, aimed at businesses.
The purpose of the new launch is to offer us a professional version of the social network to use exclusively in the working environment as a tool for improving internal communication and productivity within companies.
The Function of Facebook at Work
With a very similar design to the traditional Facebook, the platform enables users to create a work account which is completely independent from the personal one. They can use a series of tools to interact with colleagues, to share files or even edit them in the cloud in such a way that whatever is uploaded is only visible to all employees, to a specific group or to just one other person.
The work account must be created by the company, which is responsible for introducing the profiles of staff and their data (name, profession, job title, and so on). Once the account has been created, employees receive an e-mail with a link through which they can access their individual profile. This profile automatically shows the data the employer has provided about the employee. If the employee wants to edit this information, they must request the changes be implemented by HR or the department responsible for the accounts. Nonetheless, each employee can personalise their work profile, adding information in the “About” section (profile image, front page photo and any information they feel is appropriate).
The Financial Times journalist Hannah Kuchler (specialist in technology news) explains Facebook at Work in this video.
After configuring the account, users can download the app to access Facebook at Work from their mobile phone (from iTunes App Store for iPhones and from Google Play Store for Android devices).
The interface also allows users to connect their work account to their personal one, so that they can switch between them easily. The only requirement is that the two accounts have the same username and password, data which is not shared with the account administrator (the company).
At Work is currently in a trial phase: Facebook is testing it with an undisclosed group of businesses unrelated to the corporation, but it seems that it will be launched in just a few days.
Judging by the information so far, Facebook at Work is potentially a good tool to facilitate the flow of information within companies. At Inmesol, for instance, we believe it could be very useful to improve communication with and between the distributors of our brand around the world, as well as salespeople and staff in various departments. It could also be used to make participation from members for a particular project more efficient, as working groups can be created to send messages, hold conversations, share news and documents, and edit them.