So­cial me­dia: Face­book in­vades the of­fice

The Week Middle East - - News -

“If you’re not al­ready us­ing Face­book reg­u­larly in the of­fice, you might soon find your boss in­sist­ing upon it,” said Katie Collins on Last week, Face­book launched Work­place, a busi­nes­sori­ented ver­sion of its ubiq­ui­tous so­cial net­work. Just like Face­book, there are groups, re­ac­tions, and a news feed, but in­stead of re­ceiv­ing up­dates from friends and fam­ily, users con­nect and chat with col­leagues and clients. Work­place users can also video chat with re­mote em­ploy­ees and con­duct con­fer­ence calls. “The ma­jor strength of Work­place is how fa­mil­iar users al­ready are with Face­book,” said Joon Ian Wong on Be­cause the for­mat is ba­si­cally iden­ti­cal to reg­u­lar Face­book, com­pa­nies won’t have to spend much time or money train­ing em­ploy­ees how to use it. Start­ing at $3 per user per month, Work­place is also cheaper than ri­val Slack’s of­fice chat app, which now boasts more than 3 mil­lion users. “You can of­fi­cially add Face­book to the list of soft­ware com­pa­nies seek­ing to all but elim­i­nate cor­po­rate email,” said Heather Clancy on For­ Work­place’s goal, like Slack’s, is to cut down on the num­ber of re­dun­dant and time-con­sum­ing mes­sages work­ers re­ceive by re­ly­ing in­stead on the con­ven­tions of so­cial me­dia. So in­stead of a mass email, em­ploy­ees can post ar­ti­cles, up­dates, and com­ments to their team’s news feed. Or a CEO can ad­dress the en­tire com­pany via video, us­ing Face­book Live. Work­place “rep­re­sents a much larger shift to­ward busi­ness apps that be­have more like con­sumer apps,” said Davey Alba in The suc­cess of apps like Slack, Box, and Ever­note has shown that work­ers want pro­duc­tiv­ity soft­ware that func­tions more like the apps they al­ready use in their per­sonal life. “Even Ap­ple, which fo­cused for so long on con­sumer ser­vices, is now of­fer­ing this new breed of busi­ness soft­ware.” “Face­book may be able to de­sign tools that peo­ple want to use; what it needs to prove is that it can make them more pro­duc­tive by do­ing so,” said Steve Ranger on Be­fore Slack took Sil­i­con Val­ley by storm, there were cor­po­rate so­cial net­works like Chat­ter by Sales­force and Mi­crosoft’s Yam­mer, none of which man­aged to kill off email. Maybe that’s be­cause, just like per­sonal so­cial me­dia, staffers quickly find them­selves spend­ing too much time up­dat­ing their sta­tuses and read­ing posts in­stead of “do­ing their ac­tual jobs.” There’s some­thing un­set­tling about us­ing Face­book “to do busi­ness, rather than to be dis­tracted from it,” said Anna Wiener on It’s yet an­other ex­am­ple of how tech­nol­ogy is erod­ing the bound­aries be­tween our per­sonal and pro­fes­sional lives. “Work­place soft­ware, no longer con­fined to the phys­i­cal of­fice, now lives in our pock­ets.”

Fa­cil­i­tat­ing mass sur­veil­lance?

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