Facebook’s expansion into the work place is on the horizon, as TechCrunch reports that Facebook at Work is expected to launch in the next few weeks.
Completely separate from the public social network, Facebook at Work offers the same look, feel, tools and features as the popular platform, with a few key differences, such as no advertisements, CNET reported last year.
With the release of Facebook at Work, the social network giant stands to prove that it can serve as a legitimate business tool. Many businesses and organizations use Facebook for promotional purposes, but ban or limit employees from accessing Facebook while the job. Facebook at Work might eliminate that stigma.
“We know that people use Facebook to connect and collaborate,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to CNET last year. “The same way we connect people, we want to connect coworkers. Internally at Facebook we’ve been using our product for years, and now we’re ready to start testing Facebook at Work with a handful of partners.”
TechCrunch reports that Facebook will announce launch integrations or partnerships with other SaaS tool providers including Asana.
CNET reported last year that with this new app, Facebook positions itself in competition with other social networks designed specifically for the enterprise crowd.
Networks such as Microsoft’s Yammer, Slack, Skype, VMWare’s Socialcast and Convo all provide collaboration tools, messaging, chatting, postings and similar features to businesses of various sizes. Based on how it markets and sells the new app, Facebook could use its name and clout to offer true competition to other such networks.
Despite being launched in 2014, Slack is already considered one of the fastest-growing business apps in history with clients including a range of government agencies and private companies. Facebook at Work could challenge Slack.
In January 2015, Lars Rasmussen, a Facebook engineering director heading up the project, told TechCrunch that beyond the iOS and Android apps, a website version of Facebook at Work will be accessible to partners through Facebook’s main site. He also said the audience for Facebook at Work will be companies with 100 or more employees.