Let’s be honest: Many of us already Facebook at work, guiltily scanning our newsfeeds for updates or clandestinely scrolling through a friend’s photo album for a few stolen moments before returning to the actual productive stuff. It’s a behavior prevalent enough that many companies have blocked the social network in the workplace altogether.
Now, however, comes a report from the Financial Times that Facebook is working on a new website -- called ‘Facebook for Work’ – that aims to transform the social network from a productivity killer to a productivity enhancer.
The new site, which the FT reports will look very similar to regular old Facebook with staple features such as newsfeeds and groups, will supposedly let employees chat with colleagues, connect with professional contacts (watch out, LinkedIn) and share and work together on documents (watch out, Google Drive and Microsoft Office). Users will be able to keep their personal profiles completely separate from their work profiles.
Facebook employees have already been using the site for some time, but ‘Facebook for Work’ “is now being tested with companies as its launch approaches,” the FT reports.
Facebook declined to comment.
If the site takes off and companies, instead of banning the platform, begin to encourage its use in the office, it would significantly boost the amount of time many, many people spend on the social network. As the FT notes, because Facebook makes most of its money from advertising, this has the potential to dramatically boost the company’s revenue.
But businesses may be wary. Again, Facebook makes the majority of its revenue from collecting user data to sell targeted ads, a nugget that may give companies pause before deciding to share sensitive documents on the platform.
Tell Us: What do you think about ‘Facebook for Work’? Would you consider using it at your company?