O Facebook anunciou testes em uma nova versão de rede social, mas para um ambiente corporativo. Ela recebeu o nome de Facebook at Work e será testada por alguns parceiros. O objetivo é criar um ambiente virtual privado para as empresas e seus funcionários.
Facebook doesn’t just want to be the world’s leading social network for people to communicate about their personal lives. It wants to host workplace chatter, too.
But can a consumer company that thrives on people sharing early and often make friends with businesses more interested in keeping information on a need-to-know basis?
The Silicon Valley company said on Wednesday that it had begun formal pilot testing of Facebook at Work, a corporate edition of its service intended to be a social network for individual companies and organizations.
“It’s the Facebook everyone knows and loves but adapted to work,” Lars Rasmussen, the director of engineering for the product, said in an interview.
The new service, whose existence was disclosed last year, is not quite regular Facebook. Your employer creates your account, which is separate from any personal Facebook account you may have. You don’t “friend” people — everyone in the company is automatically in your network. Everything you post on your timeline is visible to everyone else on the corporate network, and your company owns all the content that you post.
If you do want a bit of privacy, you can create a group for, say, your team, to chat about projects, or use Facebook Messenger to send instant messages to specific individuals.
A news feed sorts through posts it thinks are relevant to you, based on familiar factors like how often you interact with the person posting it, who you specifically want to follow and how many comments or likes a particular item is getting. “We keep track of who in the past you’ve been interested in,” Mr. Rasmussen said.
Facebook, which has 1.35 billion individuals worldwide checking the service at least once a month, is entering a crowded and unfamiliar field with the workplace service. Big enterprise-oriented technology companies like Microsoft and IBM offer corporate social network products, and start-ups like Slack are also offering snazzy collaboration tools. Facebook’s archrival, Google, also offers a suite of business-oriented collaboration and communication tools.
What does Facebook bring to the party?
“That’s a good question,” Mr. Rasmussen said. “You can think of Facebook as a more efficient way of keeping in touch with people. At work, it’s the same thing — you need to stay connected with the right colleagues. So using a social network turns out be a really efficient way of getting your work done as well.”
The company was inspired by how Facebook employees use the service internally, and it used that as the template for a broader public offering that was developed by Mr. Rasmussen’s team in London.
Facebook has no immediate plans to make money from Facebook at Work, although it is likely to follow the path of other enterprise companies and eventually charge a subscription fee, as opposed to showing advertising, which provides most of the revenue on its main consumer service.
Mr. Rasmussen said early testers included a century-old manufacturer, a retailer, a tech company and a company whose work force is widely scattered.
And Facebook at Work is looking for more guinea pigs to help develop the service, which is scheduled for a broad release this year. If your company wants to apply to be a tester, you can find Mr. Rasmussen — where else? — on Facebook.
Via New York Times