No more pretending that we don't use social media while on the job. Facebook is officially in the Internal Communications world.
After 18 months of Facebook at Work, Workplace by Facebook is finally here for organizations to get their hands on. The new Internal Communications platform was formally released a few weeks ago and it's pretty exciting. Facebook at Work was previously in beta with a number of companies using it, but now it's here for the masses.
The collaborative work and communication platform is making a promise of changing the way we work and making organizations more productive. Knowing how addicted we all are to Facebook in our personal lives, Workplace's future in the industry of employee engagement and productivity is bright. But a few questions remain: Will employees be willing to adopt the new tool? Will employers see value in a tool almost identical to Facebook, used on the job? Can Workplace replace Facebook?
Let's look at the five reasons why Workplace is a big deal for Internal Communications (and what's so cool about it anyway?):
1. It's everything we love about Facebook but now built for organizations: Mobile first and simplistic usability -- all coming to internal social. For many, Facebook is the go-to communication platform of choice and it's dominance in our online world is undeniable with one billion mobile daily active users. Just over half of Facebook users exclusively log in from a mobile device. Facebook's accessibility, usability, and reliability make it a platform we can get excited about for Internal Communications.
2. Your employee population already knows how to use Workplace by Facebook: After email, this is perhaps the only internal communications platform that doesn't require specific training. The familiarity of the platform is a huge win for Workplace by Facebook, who is already a little bit late to the game. CEO of Box (a partner with Workplace by Facebook), Aaron Levie put it succinctly: "Facebook has already trained close to 2 billion people in how to use their product.” With adoption and training time being a leading roadblock for organizations adopting new internal comms tools, Facebook has found a big advantage with their new platform.
3. Facebook's interest in Internal Comms is further proof that engagement is an important endeavour for organizations: As a company that builds a tool for Internal Communicators and lives, breathes, sleeps employee engagement, we know the value of good communication in the workplace. But as communicators know, modern tools for internal comms haven't always been available. With a huge enterprise organization like Facebook showing a vested interest in employee collaboration and engagement, it proves that internal comms is on the radar of major players and stakeholders should take notice.
4. Live Video: In addition to Groups, Work Chat, Analytics, Live Video is the feature we're most excited about and it's an especially interesting one from an internal comms perspective. Similar to Facebook Live, the Live Video feature allows members of your organization to broadcast a message via video and quickly disseminate information to a decentralized population. This feature might be well suited for a CEO update or message, and with Facebook's infrastructure, it would work reliably.
5. We're asking ourselves a lot of questions about the future of Internal Communications: The new release is a disruption to the current approach to internal social networks. Along with other innovators like Slack, Workplace is bringing new, open technology to organizations that share the same communication values. But the introduction is also forcing us to ask a lot of questions and ponder the future of internal comms: How will Workplace impact current internal channels? Facebook has already disrupted how we use the internet -- many of us almost automatically start typing 'Facebook' into our search bar when we open our browsers. Will Workplace change our communication behaviours at work in the same way? And, what's next?
Any time internal communicators have access to new tools to make their jobs easier and communicate messages painlessly, it's a victory and the profession benefits. Our goal is to engage employees and enhance the employee experience, that means staying ahead of trends!
Let us know what you think about the first glimpse at Workplace by Facebook in the comments below! How do you think the new platform will impact the role of the internal communicator?