By Dee Donavanik, Publicity Director
This week, Facebook announced that it would be launching a new platform that aims to increase office productivity. According to the Wall Street Journal, though in the early stages and currently available to only a number of test companies, Facebook at Work is a “collaboration tool that lets colleagues communicate through a web interface or a mobile app, instead of using email… Facebook says a key feature of the app is Groups, which the company believes could replace email lists that appear never-ending and seem to grow larger with time.”
“We have found that using Facebook as a work tool makes our work day more efficient,” Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s director of engineering, tells WIRED. “You can get more stuff done with Facebook than any other tool that we know of, and we’d like to make that available to the whole world.”
Though it has been compared to existing programs such as Yammer or Connections, Facebook at Work hopes that the Facebook platform, already familiar to its billion users, will give it an advantage amongst its competitors.
But is this enough to sway users? According to ZDNet: “unlike the social network you already know, however, it won’t have ads nor will it, Facebook promises, track your corporate user data.” However they also point out, users don’t exactly trust Facebook with their privacy anymore given its track record. So if individuals don’t trust Facebook with their personal information, why would organizations trust them with even more delicate and sensitive business data?
There are several other questions that could be raised here. Most of us have smart phones and are usually constantly checking our email anyway, so is another outlet necessary? Even though the personal and professional networks are separate, is there any chance the information could accidentally overlap, thus revealing private details you didn’t wish to share with our colleagues?
Do we really want Facebook to know all that goes on in both our personal and professional lives? Probably not. But like or dislike, the success of Facebook at Work remains to be seen.
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