Will you Facebook at Work?

I must admit, we thought Facebook at Work might have ended up being vapourware. But this week, TechCrunch broke the story that Facebook had announced the availability of new iOS, Android and Web version of “Facebook at Work“.

Facebook at Work screenshot

Unfortunately – despite reports in The Australian that Telstra is interested in testing the platform – Facebook at Work is not generally available in Australia at this point. We hear that Facebook has no particular interest in rolling out in this part of the world during this pilot phase, so we will need to watch the US experience play out in the meantime.

Other than the main question of whether Facebook can be successful in this space (and we think there are as many reasons why it could be successful, as not), at this point Facebook’s pricing model is unknown.

Sameer Patel of SAP speculates that it is all about advertising and knowing what we do between the hours of 9 to 5. The shadow of privacy concerns as well as data sovereignty risks are likely to put off many companies and governments from embracing Facebook as an enterprise collaboration platform. But since we know that some people are already using Facebook inside the workplace, if the price is right (or free) then a workplace version of Facebook will be seen as highly desirable. In fact, rather than replacing existing solutions, Facebook at Work could make a complementary platform for communication with front-line and casual workers.

The biggest risk we see is from Facebook itself, who have no expertise in enterprise collaboration. Viral adoption can only get you so far and increasingly organisations are expecting demonstrated outcomes from enterprise social software.

What do you think – will you Facebook at Work?

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