Today, Facebook has taken the reins off its latest venture, Facebook at Work, a product on which the company has reportedly spent the past year working.
Launching with Android, iOS and web support, Facebook at Work can be interpreted as a container for businesses within the confines of the company’s widely-used social network. Meant as both an internal communications tool and a way to foster event planning and group discussion, administrators or team owners can create an overarching umbrella account and invite members to join.
Membership is completely independent from one’s personal Facebook account, and nothing posted on the former will appear on the later. While Facebook has been internally testing Work for a while, it’s development likely gained greater importance within the organization when Slack revealed its massive success in 2014. The company is also positioning itself against Microsoft’s popular Yammer, as well as Atlassian’s Hipchat, all of which are generating enormous revenues for their respective companies.
For now, Facebook at Work will be free, and the company is not divulging its pricing structure. Facebook can likely keep it free until it has built up a sizeable user base (ideally stolen from Slack) and then slowly add premium features.
Users will be able to “link” personal and Work accounts and access them in similar ways to how Groups are set up today. Facebook recently moved its Groups product into its own app.
Facebook is also not talking third-party integration, which has boosted Slack’s prominence in the enterprise space, but there’s a good chance once everything is up and running it will add in those features.