Facebook has just taken the wraps off of their new project, Facebook at Work. The new business-centric social network aims to let companies communicate as well as share items and announcements internally. The app is set up to look exactly like the Facebook we’re all familiar with, but will likely require separate business log in credentials to sign on. The app is going live in the Google Play Store and iOS App Store today, though it will only be available for a handful of select businesses.
Facebook at Work has been in development for roughly ten years, and is actually what the folks at Facebook HQ use to communicate within the business. Lars Rasmussen, engineering director at Facebook, tells TechCrunch that “when Mark (Zuckerberg) makes an announcement he just posts it on Facebook at Work.” The company is unsure whether or not this will be a paid service. For now, Facebook Platform is disabled on the beta app, meaning there are no ads quite yet. Even so, the idea of ads coming to the platform isn’t too farfetched, seeing as how most other rival business communication apps require a paid subscription.
It’s obvious why Facebook wants to create this separate social networking platform: to compete with other rivals in the field. Slack, Yammer, Convo and Socialcast are some of the more popular apps in the space. However, many people are unaware that those apps even exist. But everyone knows about Facebook. If your business uses Facebook at Work you can expect to have two Facebook apps on your mobile device. Information between the two apps will never crossover between Work and personal Facebook accounts, so there’s no need to worry about accidentally sharing the wrong item to the wrong app.
Once the app comes out of beta status, be on the lookout for more Facebook at Work developments in the near future.