First Glimpse at Facebook Workplace
Facebook Workplace it’s not what I was expecting! There I said it.
After the account creation page, you are redirected to the home/News Feed of the Facebook Workplace and for me, the experience was pretty surprising! It felt like a 2005 software tool, gray with no “life”.
I assume that the reason for the this experience is:
Facebook Workplace did not ask me to get my Facebook profile!
For the past 10+ years, I’ve used Facebook mostly for work, especially because my company is a professional developer on its platform. Having all these data and information about my working experience and interest, I somehow expected that Facebook will include some of that in my Workplace account – or to be fair, could have asked me to get that data or not.
Instead, I logged in into an almost blank gray page, and I repeat, a page with no “social” life. You’ll probably think that I am over dramatizing but believe me, I literally checked the URL just in case I was somehow redirected to a phishing website.
I was probably expecting that Facebook might try to connect my Facebook profile with Workplace and will give me a better ‘first glimpse’ experience.
Ok, let’s give it a chance, after all, it is a product developed by Facebook and it has a potential to become one of my company’s most used tools in the future.
Below you will find details about the main features of the platform:
Workplace News Feed
The News Feed is a great product developed by Facebook and I think it brings a great value for a productivity tool by having the same layout that people are used to seeing every day. The moment people start posting and collaborating, it starts to feel more friendly and useful, mostly because of the familiar UI. In my experience, this feature will be the greatest advantage against other tools such as Slack or Asana, or Basecamp.
The whole concept of Workplace is to make the content organized in Groups. This will require making some kind of an “official company Groups’ structure” that will help the company admin to organize different departments and give a more organized information access to the employees. The Groups are the same as the Groups on Facebook and offer all the familiar options to post content and manage group members.
Workplace has a built in messaging app Work Chat, probably the same Messenger that we are all used to but with a more darker blue UI 🙂 The idea is to use the chat as an official company communicator and ‘ditch’ Skype, Slack, Messenger, or any other chat tool that your employees are using on an everyday basis. It has already a dedicated mobile app Work Chat so you can immediately start using it for calls or video chats.
This seems new! It is a cool feature to structurize and make more organized text posts. Here are the current formatting options:
The profile seems the same as the one on Facebook and it has very limited options for you to include. I was expecting more options and to fill in more work-related info and not just a short info about my position and department. But is still cool if you are in a bigger enterprise to have a quick search of all your colleagues in an UI friendly environment.
One of the things I was wondering is what happens with your profile if you leave a company? Does this mean that your Workplace profile will be deleted? Probably yes, mostly because it is connected with your business email address.
This does not seem to be a good approach, due to the fact that you will have to make Workplace accounts every single time you join a company. I think it could be more innovative to introduce a Workplace profile (something like we all have on LinkedIn) that a user can maintain and use to join in different companies.
Multi Company Groups
This is what I am talking about! A great feature to create secret Groups dedicated for collaboration with other companies that already have Workplace accounts.
Facebook is introducing integration with third-party partners and these options might be very exciting for increasing team productivity. Other premium package features are the following:
- Administrative controls to manage your community
- Monitoring tools for IT teams
- Single sign-on (SSO), Active Directory support
- Integration with G Suite, Okta, Windows Azure AD and more
If you are interested in partnering with Workplace you might consider applying here.
Should you use Workplace?
Workplace is free until 30th September 2017. Once your free trial ends, you’ll be able to set up payment details. Learn more about pricing here. So it won’t hurt you a trial.
In my opinion (with a very short time of testing) Facebook Workplace can be a great tool for bigger enterprises, and achieve the goal to provide bigger transparency and more social context for employees to collaborate. Smaller teams and startups might want to stick with the current Facebook Groups to get a similar value or continue to use tools such as Slack, Asana or Basecamp.
Have you tried Workplace from Facebook? Feel free to share your thoughts!