In October, Facebook announced their new corporate social media platform, Workplace By Facebook.
Looking for new ways to grow and continue to monetize users, a corporate social media platform seems to be a logical next step for the company, placing it in direct competitions with recently emerged platforms like Slack.
So, What is Workplace?
Let’s go over what Workplace is for those that missed the announcement in October. Workplace aims to provide a social media platform in an effort to simplify and accelerate communications within the company.
Some of stated goals of the platform include:
- Increase liquidity of knowledge
- Improve agility
- Share experience
- Improve intelligence
- Improve company culture
Workplace allows each employee to have their own account and communicate with others within the company about their daily work. The hope is that this streamlined communication channel will make it easier for employees to share information and improve communication between departments.
In the system, employees will be connected through the hierarchy. Leadership positions will have the ability to share company-wide memos and status updates, improving communication from the highest levels of an organization.
Workplace also comes complete with video and audio chat options, as well as conference rooms, making is easier for employees to directly communicate. Facebook hopes that the platform will become as ingrained in corporate culture as Facebook has in popular culture.
What are Workplace’s Competitors?
Workplace takes aim at a number of enterprise colutions including Yammer, and Jive. Additionally, the video conferencing options that come backed into the web platform place it directly at odds with Microsoft’s Skype.
Workplace also looks to be a solution for smaller team environments as well. This would place the software directly in competition with newcomers such as Slack, but the software in general has a much larger scope.
Why is Workplace Different?
So what sets Workplace apart from its competition? Facebook has gone to great lengths to bring the best features from Facebook over into Workplace, but has also grown the platform to encompass all segments of an organization, from company-wide sharing down to small team collaboration. Some of the ways in which Workplace is different from the competition include:
Facebook is behind it. Compare features all you want, but with Facebook behind Workplace and the potential for growth that the platform represents, you can bet that in time, there will be few software packages that can truly compete with Workplace. Facebook is social media. Companies that invest in the Workplace platform can rest assured that Workplace will receive adequate attention moving forward, as it appears to be a big part of their long-term strategy.
Workplace is mobile-friendly. Facebook designed Workplace by placing the mobile experience at the top of their list of priorities. Other software such as Yammer, or Sharepoint, are geared toward desktop PC usage. This allows for connections between all employees in an organization, even those that do not have their own computers. Additionally, it ensures that your employees will always be able to connect quickly, including the executive staff which is typically a more mobile workforce as they attend meetings throughout the day. Workplace currently has two mobile apps, Chat and Work. Chat handles all of the voice and video conferencing between individuals and groups, while Work tracks all conversations in the Workplace feed and platform.
Although Workplace is a new platform, it blows industry leaders out in terms of ease-of-use.
Your Workplace Profile
Just like Facebook, every Workplace user has their own profile. Your profile will share your current position within the company and where you are located. Other users can see all of the recent posts, as well as who is interacting with you within those posts. For the most part, Facebook has kept the profile options limited on Workplace. This will help with adoption, as people don’t like to spend a lot of time filling in profiles, but it also helps to place the focus on the actual communications and work as well.
Workplace for Computers
Workplace is a 100% browser-based platform, just like Facebook. You don’t need to download anything to use it on your desktop. In the Workplace desktop environment, the software has four pre-defined group types to help users find their intended destination. These include:
- Social feed groups
- Announcement groups
- Open discussion groups
- Team and Project groups
This helps to ensure that users can quickly find the right group and begin collaborating quickly, without getting lost in the different pages within the platform. Bringing a complete company into a new social platform is a huge undertaking, and Facebook knows this. It is clear that the y want the Workplace platform to be simple to use and navigate.
Social Feed Groups
Social feed groups act in a way that is very similar to your standard Facebook account. This is where the moral boosting effects of Workplace will have their largest effect. It is clear that Facebook knows that the social side of the platform is an important, albeit separate from the more business-oriented discussions. You want to allow bpeople to discuss that new movie that just came up, but not muddle up the workflow while doing so.
Announcement groups are saved for formal communications. Most of the people who will be posting in here will be part of your communications or leadership departments. This is where you share critical, company-wide information that will effect on a large number of your users.
Team and Project Groups
Employees will be able to break off into smaller teams to discuss individual goals and projects. These groups may be the most visited pages by your users and will play a critical role in the growth of the platform. Teams are able to share updates, documents, and ask questions that solve problems.
Open Discussion Groups
Discussion groups are typically less formal and serve as a way to share information with groups that are larger than the team-side of the platform. This is where you may share information such as project management info, IT security updates, or just ensure that your employees on the whole have the resources on hand that they truly need.
Collaboration on Workplace
Workplace also has collaboration features built into the platform. All collaboration will take place in the Group pages. These pages are very much like the Facebook business or event pages, with a left navigation menu on the side. One upside is that you can enable notifications for individual group pages to ensure that you immediately receive information from your most active groups.
One interesting feature that the platform offers is multi-company groups. When two organizations are both on Workplace, they can create shared groups for collaboration and smooth information sharing. These groups function in the same way as normal groups, with one key difference – there is currently no chat available for multi-company groups. That is expected to change in the future, though.
Facebook has high hopes for Workplace and anyone paying attention can see what a key role it will play in their long-term strategy. With the public launch of Workplace, Facebook has entered a new industry and placed themselves immediately into one of the leadership positions. How successful the platform will be depends on a number of different factors, but Workplace appears to be well-designed and poised for long-term success.
If you would like to learn more about social media marketing, please contact us to schedule your risk-free consultation.