Facebook Inc (FB) Releasing a Workplace Version of Its Social Platform

Over the years, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has provided people the world over with a viable platform which not only enables them to remain sociable but broaden their horizons too. But interaction is strictly limited to a personal level which is why it is upheld as the ultimate social networking site. Its success in the social arena notwithstanding, Facebook is now planning to venture into the workplace through a version which will enable users to interact with others in very much the same way, except that it would be on a professional scale.

Christened as ‘Facebook at work, it is designed to allow colleagues to chat with each other, share documents and build a professional network. Currently on trial within the company, this version of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is akin to LinkedIn in many ways and hence could prove to be a formidable competitor for the online professional networking platform which has been in vogue since 2003. At present, it facilitates communication within the company and whether or not this will change depends on the response that it receives.

Facebook (FB)

While anything to do with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) needs to be taken seriously, analysts have expressed skepticism over this latest creation. Rob Koplowitz, who conducts analysis at Forrester Research expressed his misgivings in the following statement –

“Facebook certainly has a familiar user experience that people love, and could blur the lines between employees and customers in a very compelling way. To fully compete in the enterprise requires deep and complex capabilities that aren’t required in a consumer offering.”

Another person who has been vocal about his doubts is Andre Spicer, a professor at Cass Business School. On one hand he maintains that it will render employees more aware, on the other he feels that it is not likely to improve their productivity. In fact, he foresees a couple of problems too which he has enumerated as follows –

“It makes it easier for employees to accidentally leak sensitive information. It can also be a threat to hierarchy and clash with implicit or explicit chains of command.”

Mark Mahaney, analyst with RBC Capital Market, also turned out to be a skeptic when questioned on CNBC about Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s prospective offering. According to him, although this social networking site boasts of impressive numbers, it does not stand a chance in the light of people’s expectations and too much competition already present in this arena.

This article has been written by Vinita Basu.

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