3 Challenges Facing “Facebook At Work”
Let’s face it, many of us already use Facebook at work, but few of us actually use Facebook to do work. That could change soon with rumours that the social media giant wants to start competing with the likes of Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft for more of our corporate digital real estate. They’re reportedly working on a new service called “Facebook At Work”, which will provide a way for professional users to connect, chat, collaborate on documents, and store media.
Here are the 3 biggest obstacles facing the new platform:
1. Bad reputation for privacy protection
There is still general lack of trust from the public towards Facebook in terms of respecting their private information. This reputation goes hand in hand with the success of their ads and how they’ve built their business. Facebook doesn’t hide the fact its constantly gathering tons of personal data from their users, which enables them to sell very personalized ads that are very effective.
How will they change this perception? Having them know who your friends are is one thing, but having them know things like your sales prospects or who your company is planning to acquire is another.
2. Already banned in many workplaces
Facebook is currently banned in many workplaces. Many companies view Facebook (perhaps rightfully so) as a time waster and source of procrastination for employees. They see it as a place where people go to share pictures of their cats or vacations with their friends and families. Not to mention, Facebook is currently prohibited in China – whereas LinkedIn is open.
3. Very crowded and complicated competitive landscape
Already, there are many well-established corporate messaging services such as Skype, Slack, and SalesForce Chatter. LinkedIn and Yammer have built strong presences in the corporate networking and publishing space. In addition, Google, and more recently Microsoft, have built large user bases with their smooth document sharing and collaboration platforms.
At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to Facebook needing to convince users that it offers something more than its competitors in this space. If any company is equipped to face such challenges, it’s Facebook. One major advantage that Facebook does have over these competitors is that they have 1.2 billion users spending an average of 45 min on its site per day! So don’t count out Facebook for Work just yet.
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