Facebook Inc. has launched a new feature called “Facebook at Work,” a new app for iOS and Android aimed at enterprise users.
Right now, the new app is only available for Facebook’s beta partners, and the social network has provided scant details. However, what it has shared is that Facebook at Work will allow for greater collaboration between employees, giving them the ability to use Facebook tools like News Feed, Groups, messages, and events.
The experience will look and feel very similar to what employees are already accustomed to, thanks to their use of Facebook as consumers. The difference is with Facebook at Work, whatever employees share is kept within the company account, and there’s no crossover with their personal profiles – nor can outsiders access any of the data housed within employees’ Facebook at Work accounts.
Up until now, Facebook has had limited involvement with the enterprise space, outside of marketing and advertising and perhaps Facebook Groups. But with Facebook at Work, the social network will be competing with a lot of other messaging apps aimed at collaboration and productivity, like Microsoft’s Yammer, Slack, and Convo.
How Facebook at Work will be received will be interesting to watch, given this space is already pretty crowded. Yet Facebook enjoys a huge number of users among consumers for its core product, and in designing Facebook at Work, it deliberately ensured its consumer experience would be pretty much the same with this new tool.
Fitting in with the consumerization of IT phenomenon, that will likely attract enterprise users to continue using a product they’re already familiar with – they’ll just be using it in the office, with their co-workers. And hey, at least now their bosses won’t wonder why they’re spending so much time on Facebook.
There’s no word on pricing as of yet, nor of when the app will be made generally available. However, Facebook has said it will share more details in the coming months.