Facebook is confident its move into workplaces across the world will increase productivity for millions of people.
Facebook at Work beta has been running for almost 18 months with hundreds of companies testing out the new kid on the ESN block.
Monica Adractas, Director, Americas for Facebook at Work, answers our questions about the arrival of Facebook in the workplace.
Q. Facebook has dominated social media for more than a decade. An enterprise version seems a logical step – why the wait?
A. Connecting everyone in the world has been our mission since day one.
We spent the first 11 years connecting people at a personal level, and now we’re working on connecting people in the workplace. We see an opportunity to help companies build more collaborative and productive workplaces.
Q. How long has Facebook at Work been in development?
A. We know that people use Facebook to connect and collaborate, and we want to connect co-workers the same way.
Facebook at Work began its pilot program in January 2015, and now more than 450 companies are using the Facebook at Work.
Q. The beta has been established and running for a considerable period of time. What has been the key feedback?
A. At work there are often too many details and distractions and multiple audiences which make it difficult to share and exchange information with the people that matter. Everyone is looking for quicker, simpler ways to work together.
Companies using Facebook at Work tell us that they’ve found the platform is a great for allowing all employees to build bridges across time zones, languages and devices, and truly connect the entire company, which in turn builds a strong culture of openness.
Facebook at Work also facilitates two-way conversations that are democratic and not top-down in nature.
This means everyone from the CEO to the newest intern in a remote office feels empowered to share and build together. We’ve been seeing enthusiasm from CEOs looking to enhance their company’s culture by building new ways to collaborate.
Q. What makes Facebook at Work stand out from its competitors?
A. Facebook at Work is a familiar and simple platform.
Because Facebook is a familiar to many people, there is no training needed and no user manual required to use Facebook at Work. Many of the same features people already know and use – like News Feed, Groups, Messages, Events, Auto-translate and so on – are also used on Facebook at Work.
* Facebook at Work is also a mobile-first platform, which is enormously important as a lot of work is now happening on mobile devices. This allows employees to quickly and easily connect across time zones worldwide.
* Facebook at Work is a completely separate, safe and secure way for employees to collaborate. Only co-workers within the company can see the information you post on Facebook at Work; Facebook at Work accounts are completely separate from personal accounts.
* The majority of features available on Facebook are also available on Facebook at Work. This includes great collaboration features like auto-translate, HD video calling, VoIP, Reactions and many others.
Q. In three words, sum up why IC professionals need to get to grips with enterprise Facebook.
A. Connected, productive workplace.