I recently came across an article on Tech Crunch called, “Facebook Unveils Facebook At Work, Lets Businesses Create Their Own Social Networks.” This immediately caught my attention because not only am I interested in the many ways society uses Facebook, but because I never thought Facebook would actually create something like this. Let me explain.
The article discusses how Facebook is launching a product under the working title FB@Work, which lets businesses create their own social network that looks and acts like Facebook itself. They have already launched apps for IOS and Android phones, as well as a main website that can be accessed from a computer or laptop. Companies that utilize this product can create separate log-ins for their employees or they can link up with their personal accounts so that everything is in one place. Lars Rasmussen, the engineering director at Facebook who is in charge of the project, says that a small set of external businesses around the world are already testing out the product. Facebook’s goal is to have the product utilized by organizations with 100+ employees.
It makes sense, to me at least, to have a version of Facebook in which employees can make use of their company and/or organization. As I continued to read the article, Rasmussen says, “Facebook has effectively been working on Work for the last 10 years, because it is based on what Facebook’s own employees have been using to communicate with each other, pass on news, plan meetings and share documents. That long-time use and Facebook’s familiarity to all of us are part of what makes Facebook confident that it can carve a place for itself in a market that already is very crowded.”
This is an amazing development in further integrating social media with/in the workforce. Many individuals use this social media platform. Integrating it as a part of one’s work life could help improve productivity because the employee already is familiar with the concept of Facebook. It is even noted toward the end of the article that employee collaboration and work progress are hindered because employees don’t want to learn the software needed; it doesn’t feel essential. Since most are already familiar with the Facebook layout, FB@Work could help with work performance.
If the organization I am involved with utilized FB@Work, being on a social media site all day wouldn’t really feel like work to me. Actually getting paid to do it? Don’t mind if I do.
By Noel Barreira, Graduate Student
Master of Arts in Emerging Media
Loyola Univeersity Maryland