Facebook, the largest social network in the world, is going to launch Facebook at Work, within months, according to Reuters.
Facebook at work has been in the making for at least a year.
Julien Codornieu, who works at Facebook told Reuters, that 95% of the functionality on the Facebook website, will be incorporated into Facebook at Work. So Facebook at Work will be familiar to most employees of any company, seeing as most people have a Facebook account.
So Facebook at Work will be similar to the normal Facebook product, but geared towards businesses that want a private social network. This makes sense, because internal collaboration is already a big business, with many players already offering similar services and spin off services (like collaboration).
Social networking services for companies mix with spreading news within the company, connecting employees, but also things like storing documents, and collaborating on ideas and projects. So in theory, Facebook at Work could become a core part of a companies IT solutions. In practice, because there are already so many offerings, it might be difficult to get to that point.
Pricing will be based on a price per user, so the total depends on how many employees (users) will use the service. This is a common pricing system for enterprise software via Software as a Service (SAAS).
Facebook at Work Competitors
At its core, Facebook at Work is a social network, for professionals at work. If we look at the product in this light, there are many competitors. IBM has many social applications, like IBM Social Business Software and IBM Connections.
But if we look at Facebook at Work, as a general social collaboration tool, the list of competitors is huge. You could argue that it competes with the likes of Microsoft Sharepoint, collaboration software like Basecamp, and business chat programs like Lync which is now known as Skype for Business.
It might be tough for Facebook to serve enterprise customers, because it’s used to providing a standard service to consumer users that pay nothing to use the Facebook service, versus enterprise users that pay and expect to get something in return.
Wait and See
For now, we’ll have to wait and see, because we have yet to be able to use the application. Further, it’ll take time to see how companies will embrace a product from Facebook.