The long-awaited Facebook At Work is being released in a limited beta, according to Lars Rasmussen, the project director at Facebook. You may recall that Rasmussen was the force behind Google Wave, and earlier Google Maps.
Back in June 2014, Facebook’s Jason Fabbard revealed that the company was working on a version of Facebook for business use (see What does Facebook at Work mean?), similar to how Facebook uses its technology internally.
This is potentially very disruptive, since Facebook has billions of users, and the pattern of use is so well ingrained in many people’s lives.
The pricing — if any — is unresolved at present. In fact, I can’t find any press releases from the company about the release. And despite various journos saying the product is available in the Apple and Android app stores, I can’t find it, as of 9:30 AM January 14.
And, according to Kurt Wagner, the tool lacks a document sharing feature, which is a large hole in the feature set needed for work.
What I wonder about is the determinacy needed in business. If I post something in [email protected], I want to know that everyone that I intended to see it does in fact see it. That’s not how the Facebook newsfeed works today, at least in the consumer edition.
More to follow, I’m sure.
And, in perfect synchrony, Linkedin has announced plans to roll out work technology, too. The first step will extend the use case for InMail, so that coworkers will be able to message each other even when not officially connected on Linkedin. That sounds to be only useful in really large companies, to me. But we’ll have to see what emerges.