Around 2008, when we launched LumoFlow, everyone was talking about Facebook-like software that could be implemented for enterprises. Requirements included solutions such as social feed and employee networking. Since then each new social collaboration software startup has at least once described their solution with a legendary sentence: "It's like Facebook for enterprises". Now, seven years later, Facebook finally launched their own Facebook at work. It's (like) Facebook for enterprises.
Very little is know about this solution yet because it's available only for private beta users. But newly available facts are interesting:
- It's designed for internal use within enterprises. Therefore it's not a direct competitor for LinkedIn, but it will foster new competition within wide and rapidly growing enterprise collaboration software market.
- According to Facebook, it is targeting companies with over 100 employees. Therefore it will probably settle into same category of enterprise social networking tools as Microsoft's Yammer.
- The master mind and leader of Facebook at Work is Lars Rasmussen. He was also behind the Google Wave - Google's own social collaboration solution that was buried soon after launch.
Collaboration software market is very competitive. For newcomers it usually means that you have to focus on very small fragment of it. In this case the game is very different - the ultimate advantage of Facebook is naturally their existing huge user base. This makes their solution easy to adapt for most of the enterprises, no matter how innovative or usable the tool itself is. Downturn might be data security and privacy settings - enterprises don't have too friendly relationship to Facebook so far. But these are just speculations. Let's wait until we see the actual features.
If not providing anything really new or revolutionary, this launch has proven already one thing: Social collaboration has slowly become the pop-culture of enterprises. Everyone is doing it - one way or another.