Back in January, Facebook announced Facebook at Work in closed beta. This is a business-specific version of Facebook, mainly targeting the enterprise. It lets workers stay up to date with what’s new and relevant at work, includes one-on-one and group messaging, lets users create and join groups to collaborate on projects, and lets them plan events and invite people from the company.
Only a select few businesses have had access so far, though Facebook has provided a way to let it know if your company is interested in trying it out. Soon, that may no longer be necessary as the company is about to actually launch it so other businesses can climb aboard.
That is according to a new report from Re/code’s Kurt Wagner, who interviewed Facebook at Work head Julien Codorniou, who reportedly said the company will launch before the end of the year. Wagner writes:
More than 100 companies are using Facebook at Work as part of the beta, which is still growing, said Codorniou. Many of those companies are just now starting to expand the product internally. Heineken, for example, has been testing the product with just 40 of its top executives, but plans to expand Facebook at Work to all 550 U.S. employees by the end of September. Linio, a Latin American e-commerce company, is expanding the product internally from 200 to 2,000 employees by the end of the month.
As expected, Facebook does hope to make a little money from the new product, but not with the ad-dominant approach it’s known for. Instead, businesses will start with the free version and pay for extra features or analytics associated with their accounts, said Codorniou.
Facebook has its work cut out for it (no pun intended) in entering this crowded enterprise social platform field, and some aren’t convinced that Facebook has what it takes to really make a significant dent in it despite its ubiquitousness and resources.
Among the knocks are Facebook’s history of gaining user trust with regards to privacy, the timing of the product’s release, and a perceived lack of interoperability, though Facebook could smother any such concerns with a proper launch.
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