New York, Jan 15 The social networking site has launched “Facebook at Work”, a service that works like regular Facebook except you use it to connect to colleagues who may or may not be friends.
The service is being tested ahead of its public launch scheduled later this year, wired.com reported.
“Facebook at Work” has the same look, apps and tools as found on the Facebook but with a different colour scheme.
The colour scheme is shaded white instead of Facebook’s trademark blue, making it easy for employers to tell whether you are on Facebook or “Facebook at Work” during office hours.
Other features like news feed, search, groups, events, messenger and photo and video sharing functions are the same.
But one needs to have a separate Facebook identity specifically for sharing with colleagues, the report added.
It will exist as a separate portal on the desktop as well as on separate apps for iPhones and Android devices.
A mobile web version will also be available.
Facebook employees are using the service internally for years now.
Patrick Rusby, research analyst at Analysys Mason, said: “Facebook at Work has the potential to be a disruptive force in the enterprise social network market. Increasingly enterprises are adopting technologies that are first used by their employees outside of work, as was the case with smartphones. Facebook itself has features which would appeal as part of an enterprise social network (such as instant messaging, link and document sharing, presence and integration with a wide range of devices).”
Facebook at Work will need to provide an email service (or integration with existing email clients), integration with existing scheduling/calendar platforms and a sensible file management system in order to be taken seriously in this space, but these could be solved.
Monetisation is an interesting point here. Due to privacy/confidentiality issues relating to internal company communications, this will need to be a paid for service, as enterprises will not accept adverts being pushed at them based on the content of internal, private discussions.
This is unlikely to be a huge new revenue stream on its own, given that it would be competing with Yammer, which is well established in this space. However, this would be a new, recurring revenue stream, and it would put Facebook in front of people for more of the day, which may serve to increase engagement with Facebook in general.