Facebook at Work Is Taking Up Some Other Companies’ Slack
When Facebook announced Facebook at Work in 2014, it made sense as a natural extension of a service most people already knew how to use. The platform’s appeal to companies is obvious and hard to argue with: Nobody already using Facebook needs any training to use the product, and that’s almost everybody. Employees simply use at-work identities separate from the ones they use elsewhere.
A company adopting Facebook at Work also instantly acquires their own mature internal social networking platform, and this one — unlike, say, standard Facebook — has no ads to get in the way. Though it may make some firms uneasy that no one knows yet how Facebook plans to make money off Facebook at Work, the company says they already have about 300 corporate clients using the product, according to The Motley Fool.
The most obvious competitor for Facebook at Work is Slack, the messaging platform that’s taken business by storm. Slack is clean, fun, modern, packed with customization features, and also free of public social platforms’ ads. However, it does come with a bit of a learning curve, and that means training and/or time lost to gaining familiarity with the way it works. Microsoft’s Office email clients and Alphabet’s Gmail are other platforms that have long dominated messaging, groups, and file sharing for enterprise, but they can be cumbersome to use and lack some of the instantaneous feel of a true social platform.
Motley Fool is suggesting that LinkedIn may also be nervously watching the progress of Facebook at Work. Though LinkedIn’s employment-networking features aren’t yet mirrored in Facebook’s product, it’s unknown what other business-related functionality Facebook plans to add going forward — of course, it could also be argued that LinkedIn shouldn’t worry considering how unlikely it is that companies would want to make it easier for their employees to seek jobs at other companies through a social network they themselves provide.