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Facebook to launch service designed for workplace

Facebook at Work, Facebook’s latest offering, which is designed for use within the workplace, is due to launch in January 2016.

The new service allows users to create a work account, which will be completely separate from their personal account. Facebook say that, on this work account, it will be possible to interact with co-workers, and anything shared will only be visible to other people at the company. Although the new service is work-based, it has been designed to look and feel the same as a personal Facebook account.

Facebook at Work will become widely available in January, with an expected release date of 14th January. As well as being available as an app, for both iOS and Android, the service will also be available as a website.

The idea behind Facebook at Work is that it will make communication between colleagues quicker and simpler. Co-workers will be able to communicate on this one central service, instead of using email.

It has been launched by Facebook to rival other workplace communication tools available from companies such as Google, Microsoft and Slack.

It is yet unknown what the cost will be for this service, with there being some suggestions there will be a subscription fee.

Marian Bloodworth, employment partner at Kemp Little, commented, “The arrival of Facebook at Work will no doubt be welcomed by employees used to managing their personal lives and interests outside of work - as it will now allow them to do the same for their work lives with similar levels of functionality.

“Employers too will be keen to harness the benefits of a work based interaction system that should only increase opportunities for employees to connect and collaborate. This could be particularly beneficial in larger organisations where teams are spread across the business, and those where employees tend to work remotely. As a result it could prove a useful tool for increasing employee engagement, and thus help with retention and recruitment.

“However, such a system does not come without risk. Businesses will need to be alive to the potential mis-use of the system by employees – given that it provides another forum - in addition to existing email, phone and instant messaging functions – for employees to express personal views, and potentially, discuss sensitive and confidential business and customer issues.

“Employers will therefore need to be very clear with employees about how the system should be used.”

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