Companies have taken to limiting use of Facebook and other social media sites among their employees for years, meaning workers have had to sneak online to check their friend requests and private messages. Facebook wants to change that through Facebook at Work, a new enterprise edition of Facebook aimed at removing the site off the corporate taboo list and instead offering a way for employees and businesses to productively use the social network.
This week Facebook at Work announced the signing of its largest corporate client yet: the Royal Bank of Scotland. According to reports by TechCrunch on Sunday (Oct. 25), 100,000 employees from RBS will now gain entry into Facebook at Work, with 30,000 workers using the site by the end of next March.
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Facebook at Work allows employees to build a separate, work-only profile for a separate, work-only network on the social media platform. A company’s activity on Facebook at Work is separate and walled-off from their consumer-facing profiles and activities. But it’s still too early to tell exactly how companies will use the tool and how Facebook will build a business around it.
Reports said, however, that the partnership means Facebook at Work has hit a new milestone and a new entryway into the world of B2B for the typically consumer-focused Facebook. Plus, TechCrunch added, it signals that corporations are taking Facebook’s enterprise efforts seriously.
Already, companies like Heineken and Century 21 have signed on to the service, reports said, which is still free — for now.
“We’re still in beta, but we do plan to monetize, based around a freemium business model,” said Facebook’s director of global platform partnerships, Julien Codorniou, in an interview with the site. “We’re also building sales and marketing teams for Facebook at Work across the globe right now.”
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