Facebook to Develop Office Version of Popular Social Network
Facebook developers have finally realized what a distraction this social network can be in the workplace.
According to recent report made by the Financial Times, Facebook is in the early stages of developing a new website called “Facebook at Work” that will compete with other networking sites like LinkedIn.
The office version of the popular social networking site will be similar in style, but will have collaborative tools for employees, such as the ability to work on shared documents, connect with professional contacts, and chat with other colleagues.
The biggest difference between the two Facebook sites, Mashable writes, is the separation of personal and work accounts. Zero information from a user’s personal profile will appear on the professional page, and vice versa.
This begs the question, Is it really worth it?
Because this London-based project is in such early stages, it’s hard to tell. But at Direct Capital, we think yes, it will be worth it. And here’s why:
Ten years ago, business owners would not have to worry about how often their employees were checking their Facebook accounts. In a time when technology is right at our fingertips, even the greatest of employees probably sneak a peek while they are on the clock. It’s become almost habitual.
The statistics on this are telling:
- Worldwide, there are over 1.35 billion Facebook users, 1.12 billion of them using mobile devices.
- 864 million people log onto Facebook daily.
- 5 new profiles are created every second.
- The average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes.
- Every 60 seconds on Facebook, 293,000 statuses are updated, 510 comments are posted, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.
But, if employees can use the Facebook platform for business purposes, the chances are high that it could mitigate the personal use.
Facebook Does it, Why Not You?
Facebook employees use the platform daily to connect with other colleagues. They have employees from all over the globe and it actually helps them get to know what their colleagues are like outside of the work space.
Mike Rognlien, Facebook’s Chief of Learning and Development said, “What people do on the weekends, where they come from, what they like, what they find funny – all of these things remove the barriers between colleagues and make it easier to communicate.”
Rognlien is not alone. A survey from State of Inbound Marketing 2012 states that 42% of marketers reported that Facebook is critical to their business.
Another survey on Fortune.com also reports that out of 2,698 full-time workers in the U.S., more than 77% say they use social media to connect with colleagues at work and 61% say that it has resulted in “new or better relationships.”
How Facebook at Work Will Benefit Your Business
A familiar platform that’s similar to Facebook in style – with messaging capabilities, a newsfeed, and groups – will allow employees to stay engaged and leverage Facebook at Work by networking and promoting your business.
They can connect with their colleagues – but for business purposes. They are seeing updates, talking throughout the company, and sharing documents all in one place. LinkedIn is good for connecting with professional contacts; Google Drive is great for sharing documents, but Facebook is developing an outlet for an employee to do all of that in one place on a platform that they fully understand.
When using a channel of communication that makes sense to almost everyone, you’ll notice employee engagement and morale increase. They may be constantly checking their “Facebook” accounts, but it’s checking to make sure all of their work is complete, or checking to see how their colleague is doing on a project. For the age of technology that we’re a part of now, Facebook at Work is a more realistic and simplistic way for employees to engage and participate.
Despite the separation from personal and professional use, Facebook can become a place where colleagues go to connect in the workplace for work purposes. There’s no need for personal use in the office when they have the connections they are looking for right there in front of them.
Although there is no launch date set for this project, this is something to keep in mind. Consider Facebook at Work for your business in the years coming and maybe you’ll see some increased productivity you never knew you needed.
Is this something you would consider? How do you feel about social media use in the work place? Would having a platform like Facebook at Work change your mind? Tell us!
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