Facebook at work – Is it for Collaboration, Communication or Content Sharing?

I have talked to individuals from 2 companies that are trialing Facebook at Work. They were not on #slack before and were not using Sharepoint or Yammer, so this was a new experience for both the individuals I spoke with.

One company uses a hosted version of Exchange, and another, much smaller, use Google Apps.

I was curious as to what they use Facebook at Work for, and how that changes “work”.


The smaller company uses it similar to how many companies use Yammer (Internal social network) or Slack. Mostly for sharing updates (infrequently) and still found that most people were still using email more than Facebook at Work. They did however find that internal calls / video and otherwise were easier with FB@Work.  Which to me, indicates that conference calls, video chats, etc, will likely migrate from Skype, Google Hangouts and other conferencing solutions to Facebook@Work with larger adoption.

The larger company had Sharepoint, but were using it largely as a “hosted file sharing system” than an “Intranet” – remember that term?

A few people had downloaded the mobile app for FB@Work, but many were still checking their FB account (personal) more frequently than the FB@Work.

I have seen that in many other companies as well – large and small. People tend to use what they are used to – Even though Slack is getting good traction, I think they are likely in a lot of trouble, if FB@Work gets faster adoption.

HR organizations seemed to like FB@Work more, apparently since the larger company I spoke with, was trying to recruit more younger folks, who have a natural desire and tendency to adopt mobile first solutions for “keeping in touch with the office”.

So, who will likely be the winners and losers if FB@Work gets massive adoption?

First, I think, it is going to take at least 3-5 years for the product to get meaningful (100+ Million) users. Primarily because most companies still want to be sure about their security and privacy concerns. The real adoption barriers will be central IT teams, not users.

The winners: Smaller apps, that build connectors to FB, similar to SlackBots etc.

The losers: Intranet solutions, corporate Instant Messaging products and Cloud Storage products will all be fair game to get displaced, is my bet.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Facebook at work – Is it for Collaboration, Communication or Content Sharing?”

  1. IMHO comparing apple to Apple makes sense here Fb relies on Ad revenue on the other hand slack makes money on subscription. Working environment witg Fb? It’s completely nonsense.

    I have seen so many places where in Fb were blocked in work but not slack here important point was that FB can dump any shut on my timeline but not slack so everyone prefer slack than Fb. Having said that still intranet and lan based this thing works.

  2. Nice article sir!

    Facebook’s positioning never matches with ‘professional’ tone of work. Though Slack was able to crack it as it became a professional alternative of Whatsapp. So maybe a Facebook’s initiative should have a branding completely unrelated to Facebook, for it to succeed.

    Then there are some other companies (I have spoke to some of them) which did not find Slack (and its family) attractive as they used to do many things at the same time (which is different than their more ‘focused’ peers). So they needed a more organizability focused tools like Asana (or pkt.re – a tool we are building, (in private beta)).

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