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Facebook expands into the workplace

  • 18th November 201618/11/16
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It was only going to be a matter of time, and that time appears to be edging ever closer as Facebook begin to expand into the workplace. The primary function of the current site is obviously to keep people connected with friends and family; they now want to do the same for coworkers.

They’ve had their own internal version for years, and for just over a year they’ve been testing a version of Facebook for the workplace with other organisations around the world. The trial is now over, and Workplace is being released into the working world.

What does it do?

Available to any company or organisation, the app works in a very similar way to the standard Facebook you’ll already be familiar with. Features such as News Feed and Messenger will allow colleagues to be able to easily stay in touch and improve internal communications. This is particularly useful for teams that are in different locations, or have coworkers who are often travelling or away from the office (increasingly common). As well as this, users can enjoy Search, Trending posts, and Reactions.

Alongside the standard features, Facebook has created some Workplace-only treats that could potentially be useful for companies. A dashboard with analytics and integrations allows you to keep an eye on activity and posts. There’s also identity providers which will allow companies to easily integrate Workplace into their current IT systems, which can be a problem when you look at other intranet providers.

Facebook also knows that employees from different organisations sometimes work together, which is why they’ve created Multi-Company Groups. These shared spaces allow employees from different companies to collaborate in a safe and secure way. This feature will however be rolled out gradually.

The cost

They’re currently offering a 3 month free trial, and if you start using Workplace before January 1st 2017, it will be extended to March 31st 2017. After that point, it is $3 per user for the first 1,000 active users, and this is billed monthly. There are no long contracts, so businesses can easily cancel.

At current exchange rate, an English company with 50 employees would be looking at a licencing cost of £1,440 per annum. Not bad when compared to other licencing arrangements at that volume.

Will it be useful for you?

That depends. We think that Workplace is ideal for large companies or organisations with staff who are on the road or work from home as they can easily stay in touch and keep updated with what’s going on.

For smaller companies, it may only be beneficial if you have staff on the road. If you’re a small business with staff in one location, it might not be worth it, but a free trial is always fun to try any way!

You can find out more about Workplace here.

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