'Facebook At Work,' Anti-Tsū, Anti-LinkedIn, Anti-Google+

 

What’s a network to do? When you’ve grown to over 1.3 billion users, one would think you could relax and rest on your laurels, comforted in the fact that no other social network could possibly match your kind of success.

But such is not the case with Mark Zuckerberg and the world’s largest social network. Instead, he now wants to build a ‘business’ version of Facebook — one that’s looking to open the portals of Corporate America's c-Suite  - one that will differentiate itself from all competition - and, one that’s rumored to be going under the code name of ‘Facebook at Work.’

Tsu ~ paying for content, why that’s social networking blasphemy. . .

Why the desire to do more? Well there’s a couple of reasons. For one, he has a young upstart nipping at its heels, that goes by the unassuming name of Tsu (pronounced “Sue”) -- the premise of which should have been somewhat troublesome for the Zuck, as this platform turned the traditional social networking paradigm on it’s head. Instead of users posting their content freely and earning no ad revenues, founder Sebastian Sobczak actually flipped the script by rewarding its members with 90 percent of all incoming advertisement sales.

But, could you ever see Zuckerberg acquiescing to this kind of monetization model? Highly unlikely — namely because as a publicly traded commodity, he’d never be able to sell it to the board and the shareholders who count on that advertising to continue to raise the stock price and their subsequent investment. And to date, Facebook has managed very nicely to consistently demonstrate healthy profits for the company.

LinkedIn ~ man, you just don’t know how to collaborate. . .

To jump into the business waters with both feet, Facebook would have to go toe-to-toe with LinkedIn, the leading network in this space, and currently the one whose stock shares are trading almost three times higher than Facebook ($227 vs FB’s $77.70).

So, in order for Facebook to make any kind of dent into Linkedin’s foothold, it would have to distinguish itself in an area where that business network is lacking - namely, collaboration tools.

That’s right, as much as LinkedIn is favored by business types the world over, the one thing it lacks is private-sharing tools, a features that would create greater value for enterprises and their teams of professionals.

These tools would work behind the corporate firewalls to allow co-workers to share privately, similar to what’s being done on other business apps such as Yammer and Salesforce Chatter.

So, if ‘Facebook at Work,’ is presently working on developing private-sharing tools that could turn enterprise employees' rolodexes into more active in file-sharing, private communication mechanisms, recruiting devices and lead-qualifying assets, it might have a chance at filling the void CEOs and CIOs could approve in the workplace. Because as we all know, Facebook, in its present state is currently banned at work by most companies' social networking guidelines.

Google+  ~ yeah, they can collaborate, but what’s up with no ads?

Google+ on the other hand does have the business collaboration tools that Facebook might be looking to emulate. Presently Google+ offers its business users video conferencing, Google Hangouts, and Google Drive, its workflow repository for document and file sharing.

However presently there are no advertisements cluttering up Google+’s feeds, and that’s where ‘Facebook at Work’ would face its greatest challenge. How could it possibly build another network without the support of advertising? Some indicate subscriptions might be an option - but again without any of his competitors charging for premium versions of themselves, would Zuckerberg be willing to step out onto that weak limb?

What we know now. . .

The most current update regarding ‘Facebook at Work’ comes from The Wall Street Journal, which cited “a person briefed on the matter” who was indicating an early January, 2015 launch.

The source told the Journal, ‘Facebook at Work’ will be free-of-charge and ad-free “at launch,” and it will only be available to employees of enterprises that agree to sign up to offer the service.

Hannah Kuchler of the Financial Times reported earlier this month that the new site will contain much of the same functionality as Facebook, but it will keep users' personal timelines separate from their work profiles.

According to Kuchler, the new ‘Facebook at Work’ site — being developed out of the social network’s London office — will include Facebook features such as News Feed and groups, while enabling enhanced communications between co-workers, colleagues and professional contacts.

What are your thoughts, readers? Does Facebook have a chance at being the anti-Tsu?, anti-Linkedin, anti-Google+ while building itself a totally separate business network that Corporate America will not only trust (bear in mind FB’s problems with privacy issues in the past) but will also willingly buy into?

Will CEOs and CIOs see enough value-adds to allow that network-once-hatched-out-of-a-college-dormitory to play an important role in the world of commerce, after having been shunned in the workplace for so many years?

Comments
Dec 2, 2014
by Anonymous

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Dec 2, 2014
by Ron Callari

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This is not an ADVERTISEMENT of any sort - it's a tech op-ed review - it has nothing to do with FACEBOOK'S POLICY of "WORKING AT HOME in INDIA" - and if you read the article you would have known that!