Can Facebook work in the workplace?

It’s no secret that Facebook have been working with various companies over the past few years to create a work-based platform of its social media channel. Recently, on a fine autumn day in London, Facebook finally unveiled Facebook Workplace to the world.

The first thing worth mentioning is that Facebook Workplace is a completely separate entity to Facebook. Users will need to create a new login and profile solely for use in the workplace. This tackles the issue for companies where their employees may be distracted at work by notifications from their personal profile. Facebook Workplace will help reinforce brand values and provide a method of communication which is familiar to its employees thus offering transparency within the organisation.

Facebook have recently launched Facebook Workplace. This image shows how the new channel will display on smartphones.

The principal behind Facebook Workplace is to keep you connected with your coworkers, rather like Facebook keeps you connected to your friends and family. You will be able to share images, videos, status updates etc.  ‘Live’ will play a huge part in the Workplace experience with the possibility for users to broadcast seminars, meetings, presentations to employees all over the world.

There are new features that have been specifically designed with businesses in mind.

  • Multi Company Groups – This provides a shared space for employees from different organisations to work together and collaborate in a safe and secure way.
  • Dashboard with analytics
  • Integration with Windows, Ping, OneLogin, Okta, G Suite and Azure AD.
  • Single sign-on (SSO)

Facebook are marketing Workplace to businesses as a replacement, or upgrade, on existing bespoke intranet systems, or to companies who are looking for more than just email and telephone communication.  It is being marketed as an alternative to Yammer or Slack.

What’s the catch?

The main difference between Facebook and Facebook Workplace is the cost. After a free 3-month trial companies will have to pay if they wish to continue using Workplace. The pricing is structured on the number of employees a business wants to have as Workplace users. Companies with up to 1000 users will pay $3 per active user. 1001 to 10,000 users will cost $2 per active user and upwards of 10,001 users will cost $1 per active user. However, businesses are not tied into a long-term contract.

Educational institutions and Non-profit organisations will be able to access Facebook Workplace for free. If you are charity, I would recommend you investigate using Facebook Workplace to make communication more effective and cut down on emails.

Will Facebook Workplace be successful?

Although Facebook has been trialling a version of Workplace for a few years it remains to be seen if the platform will become an instant success with businesses. Will businesses be convinced to replace their existing system with Facebook Workplace?

I was talking to a business only yesterday who were currently trialling the use of Yammer but think Facebook Workplace might be better for them as the training needs would reduce considerably as most of the staff already know how to use Facebook.

You can read Facebook’s announcement about Facebook Workplace here.

If you are a business that is going to try Facebook Workplace we would love to hear from you.