There’s a new sheriff in town and he’s called Facebook at Work. No, I’m not talking about what you do (let’s be honest) when you’re seriously procrastinating doing actual work at work. Facebook is releasing a public version of its monster-popular social media platform to be used specifically as a communications tool between employees at work. The platform has reportedly been developed and under testing by 300 companies since January 2015, and will roll out to the general public within the coming months. Facebook at Work allows Facebook to compete with already popular platforms such as Slack, Yammer and Convo.

Benefits of Facebook at Work

The account is separate from your personal Facebook page and what you share is only viewable by your coworkers. There’s no need to worry about privacy, like so many do on their personal Facebook page, unless you’re posting some seriously inappropriate stuff on the work platform. However, you’ll still be able to use familiar Facebook tools in order to communicate with others in your workplace, such as:

  • Create and respond to Events
  • join Groups (you can create open, closed or secret groups)
  • scroll through your News Feed
  • talk through Messenger
  • upload files to a Group or message
  • receive notifications and
  • use Search- just like normal.

Upon initial setup, your Facebook at Work profile will automatically populate with information provided beforehand by your employer. It’s kind of like LinkedIn’s option to fill in your resume when applying to jobs. One downfall, though: if you want to edit some of the already-provided information, you’ll have to contact HR.

Your profile and cover photo options will all be the same- albeit I’m guessing they’ll be a little more professional than ones you’ve chosen for your personal Facebook profile. Also remember that the Facebook at Work account has admin rights, just like any other Page.

Company Insights

Account 

Only those with admin rights to your company’s Facebook at Work account can view account insights. This includes group and posting activity, the ability to view which employees have signed up and your company’s activity level in order to see if there’s a need to push for an increase in communication activity between coworkers. The platform also has a mobile app that’s available both on iPhones and Android devices. This allows employees the same functionality of their personal Facebook app.

Group 

Administrators can see all of the company’s Groups and delete them as they see fit through Group Insights. In addition, the page admin can view how many active groups there are, the number of posts, comments or likes a group has. The group chart functionality reports insights from all groups, including secret groups.

Post & Messaging

A post content chart that shows the exact number of posts that have been made by your company within a given time period, as well as the average number of posts made per employee. Quite similarly, your message chart shows how many employees have sent at least one message in a given day. This allows management to monitor if employees are under-utilizing the platform and encourage buy-in. Alternatively, they can monitor if Cathy and Talky Tom are communicating a little too much.

Is there a catch?

  1. Reportedly, after the platform becomes available to the general public, Facebook will begin charging companies for extra services. This could include services like customer support or analytics tools.
  2. You won’t be able to play games like Candy Crush, which (depending on your love or distain for such games) could either be a benefit or a serious negative. We’re thinking it belongs more in the “benefits” column, though.
  3. Secret Groups at work could backfire in the workplace if Sally feels like she’s being picked last on the playground. Just sayin’.

To read more about Facebook at Work, click HERE.

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