At TechCrunch, Ingrid Lundgren reports on Facebook’s platform for businesses to create their own social networks. She offers lots of useful detail, and correctly notes that some competing offerings in this space have failed (or just haven’t taken off):
About six months ago, we reported that Facebook was working on a new product aimed squarely at the enterprise market under the working title, “FB@Work.” Now that product is officially coming to light: today the company is launching new iOS and Android apps called “Facebook At Work,” along with a version of Facebook at Work accessible via its main website, which will let businesses create their own social networks amongst their employees that are built to look and act like Facebook itself.
(Facebook At Work is now available for download on iOS, and we’ll update with a links to the Andrid version once it’s live, though both are usable via a limited pilot to start with. Check out Josh’s follow-up story for more screenshots, details on privacy, and analysis.)
Employers can create separate log-ins for employees to use with their Work accounts, or users can link these up with their other profiles to access everything in one place.
The product puts Facebook head-to-head with the likes of Microsoft’s Yammer, Slack, Convo, Socialcast, and a huge number of others who are trying to tackle the “enterprise social network” space. Even LinkedIn conveniently let drop last night that it too was looking atbuilding a product for coworkers to communicate and share content (but not chat, as a LinkedIn spokesperson tells me). Not all of these have been a hit: Lars Rasmussen, the engineering director at Facebook who is heading up the project, had in his past once headed up one of the failed efforts at an enterprise social network, Google Wave….
“Facebook at Work’s strength is that we’ve spent ten years and incorporated feedback from 1 billion active users,” he says. “All of that is embedded now in the same product but adapted for different use cases.”
And it’s actually used by staff. “When Mark [Zuckerberg, the CEO] makes an announcement he just posts it on Facebook at Work,” Rasmussen says.
The whole post, Facebook Unveils Facebook At Work, Lets Businesses Create Their Own Social Networks @ TechCrunch, brims with detail.