Facebook at Work
Facebook has unveiled Facebook at Work, a new version of the social networking site for use in the workplace.
Currently only available to trial partners through a limited pilot programme, Facebook hopes the new site will provide an alternative to e-mail and office intranets as a collaboration tool. It will also compete with other work-focused social networks such as LinkedIn and Microsoft-owned Yammer.
Users create a work account that is separate to their personal Facebook profile. Once connected, they can use Facebook tools to interact with other co-workers.
Facebook at Work will have similar features to the traditional site, including a news feed, messenger function and personal profile pages for employees. Staff will also be able to download a suite of Facebook at Work apps for use on iOS or Android devices.
Workers follow – rather than 'friend' – co-workers, enabling them to follow executives without the need for a reciprocal relationship. All information shared on the Facebook at Work site will only be visible within companies.
The social network's widespread popularity could prove key to the success of Facebook at Work, as employees will already be well-versed in how the platform operates – a major sticking point for new entrants to the market.
Facebook claims the new system will provide "a separate experience that gives employees the ability to connect and collaborate efficiently using Facebook tools". The platform's design is based on software already used by Facebook employees to plan meetings, share notes and circulate company announcements.
Facebook is aiming for a wider release of the product later this year. No pricing details have been announced.