‘Facebook at Work’ rumoured to be given 15 January launch date

24 Nov 2014

Facebook’s real-time collaboration and productivity platform for workers Facebook at Work is reportedly set for launch on 15 January.

In recent weeks we reported that Facebook was planning on launching a productivity tool that has been in use amongst Facebookers for some time and is now about to be expanded to other companies.

Facebook is banned in many workplaces due to its time-wasting and distractive qualities, but that doesn’t stop 1.35bn people from logging on every month.

But its potential as a work tool for things like real-time collaboration, workflow, document sharing, video calling, selling and more is a tantalising prospect.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing a person briefed on the matter, Facebook will launch ‘Facebook at Work’ in early January.

Email is dead, long live email

Efforts to unseat email, that much despised and maligned communications platform, as the primary form of communication in the workplace have redoubled in recent years in many ways thanks to the cloud.

The problem is no one has yet come up with a collaboration tool that tops email … yet.

Many companies are taking advantage of the collaborative nature of cloud services like Dropbox, which enable instant document sharing, mobility and a chance focus on tasks without the necessity of scrolling through endless tracts of inbox.

Google is also planning to introduce Google Now qualities into its Google Drive public cloud service and has attempted to revamp email in a more context-aware fashion with a new beta called Inbox.

Lots of companies are also looking at real-time messaging as a way to circumvent email tyranny.

Twitter is already an established touch point for reaching out to new contacts, collaborating and conducting research.

Salesforce.com, for example, has been working tirelessly to embrace social media to foster collaboration and productivity within its popular sales and CRM web services.

No doubt if Facebook do introduce a productivity platform, it could eventually compete with Microsoft’s Outlook, Lync (now Skype for Business) and Yammer products, not to mention IBM’s Lotus platform as well as established business social media players like LinkedIn.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years