Facebook is moving into the workplace – this time with the blessing of bosses.
Martin Smith road tests the beta edition of Facebook at Work.
Facebook. Whisper it quietly but the social media platform could be coming to your workplace soon.
And you won’t even have to hide it from eagle-eyed managers.
For years, Facebook was not a word mentioned with much fondness in many workplaces.
Primarily seen as a distraction by bosses, Mark Zuckerberg’s behemoth was black-listed amid concerns over timewasting.
Yet times are changing.
With everyone able to access Facebook on their smart phone, the reliance on using company computers to access the social platform has diminished significantly.
But Facebook is busily evolving too.
Step forward the eagerly anticipated work version of the social network giant: Facebook at Work.
Its development period has been extensive and, with its beta nearing its conclusion, Facebook at Work is expected to formally launch later this year.
Facebook invited Headlines into the beta, giving us an early glimpse into the enterprise version.
So how does the enterprise collaboration platform shape up?
From the first log-in, it’s clear that Facebook is relying on the familiarity factor to be a major selling point.
Of course, it is a canny approach.
Whether you regularly use Facebook or not, most people tend to know their way around the platform.
This innate understanding is one of Facebook’s key strengths – and should not be underestimated.
Royal Bank of Scotland cited this exact reason when adopting the enterprise version in late 2015.
Training costs are almost zero with the lion’s share of the audience boasting an understanding of the platform before they even begin.
This enables Facebook at Work to hit the ground running.
It operates almost exactly like a standard Facebook account with a personal profile page, newsfeed, groups and the usual commenting/reaction facilities.
Professional and personal accounts are separate – removing any concerns about work and private lives overlapping.
Groups can be established to share information with smaller groups or teams within the office, while polls garner feedback with little fuss.
This is slick. It is Facebook, after all.
There is a reason why it is the top dog on the social media block and has been for a decade.
Other sites may be cooler and the concept is not particularly groundbreaking – but it is reliable, robust and seamless, and it slipped into our working life without a second thought.
People trust Facebook and are happy to use it.
And you don’t even need to whisper it in the office anymore.
What our colleagues think…
Headlines has been part of the Facebook at Work beta since late 2015.
Here are some of our colleagues’ opinions on the new site:
The Facebook First Timer
“Hands up. I’ve never used Facebook before. I’ve seen it, of course, and have happily used other company social platforms.
“But never Facebook – until now. And it’s rather impressive.
“It is easy to use, simple to get to grips with and an easy way of keeping abreast of everything happening at work. Perfect.”
The Social Media Butterfly
“Facebook at Work is so much easier to use than other platforms.
“Everyone knows how Facebook works and, as a result, I use it all the time.
“I keep it open so I’m alerted when notifications come in, meaning I don’t miss anything.
“It’s great for both finding out important company information and when cakes have appeared in the kitchen!”
The IC Strategist
“Facebook at Work is a great way for encouraging conversations across every level. We use it to generate ideas, share articles and celebrate success as well as for social updates, supporting a one-team culture.
“It’s also great to engage people who are out of the of?ce.
“Key to its success is having the buy-in at all levels of the business, including our leadership team, and a clear understanding of its purpose for our work.”