Facebook is working towards publicly releasing Facebook at Work , its business communication extension in the next few weeks to offer seamless workplace communication to its users.
The social media giant plans to offer the service on a per monthly active user, as opposed to a fix fee for an entire company.
Connecting friends and family to each other is what Facebook was about in the past, with the social network offering an additional inventory of advertising tools to connect businesses to consumers at present.
Now, Facebook wants to branch out even further to bring workplace communication onto their platform, but for a price. It was earlier expected that Facebook would offer this service for free, albeit a basic version of it, with only premium functions being charged for.
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But there seems to be a shift in Facebook's approach, as they are taking a different monetizing model which at the moment is not clear how businesses would take it. It does have a silver lining though, as with a per user payment plan, employees that are not keen on using the feature can choose not to and save the company some money.
Facebook at Work's interface would be separate from the Facebook interface we usually use as the public. So your bosses will no longer be forbidding you from using Facebook at work. It would include a 'Work Feed' for colleagues to share important posts, events, tasks and so on.
There are a lot of features from Facebook that if used from a business standpoint, could facilitate smoother workplace communication. Groups, Messenger, Live and Events are some of the features Facebook at Work will offer.
The service is currently being emloyed by the Royal Bank of Scotland for their employees to indulge in workplace communication, since October last year. More than 100k Royal Bank of Scotland employees use Facebook at Work to stay connected with each other. Although it is not clear whether the Royal Bank of Scotland are paying for the service on the 'per monthly active user' basis as that decision was taken very recently.
The company's rivals in this particular sector happen to be Slack, Convo and Yammer, although Facebook holds an advantage over them as many of their potential users for Facebook at Work are familiar with the platform.
We'll know more once Facebook at Work is rolled out to all businesses that deem workplace connectivity crucial enough to pay for it.