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Facebook comes to work with new enterprise social networking site in October
When Facebook at Work—a new social networking site for individual companies—launches soon, reportedly in October, will people see the utility in connecting on a Facebook platform comprised solely of their colleagues?
And will people really use it?
That's the bigger question. The social media behemoth has been around for 12 years now and people have mostly become used to blending work and professional connections on Facebook simply by altering which of those two groups can see what they share.
The prevailing school of thought? If you don't want your colleagues to see you living it up on the weekends, adjust your privacy settings so only certain friends can see the "real" you.
So how does having a Facebook for Work account make sense?
SHRM Online posed that question to some HR professionals on Twitter recently and quite a few expressed their doubts. For some years now, professionals have been using social media to do their jobs.
The dividing line between work and personal lives blurs more and more each day with many considering Microsoft-owned LinkedIn the social network for professional use and Facebook the network for personal use.
However, there have been many companies that have taken the initiative and developed their own internal social networking platforms.
Facebook for Work has been in beta since 2014. A limited number of companies are reportedly already using it. When it unveils more broadly on a trial basis, Facebook will charge companies for the service based on how many employees use it. The new version of Facebook will rival such enterprise social networking sites as Salesforce's Chatter, Microsoft's Yammer, IBM Connections and SAP Jam. Employees would use the platform as a way to minimize e-mail or instant messaging. The new Facebook at Work would operate much like Facebook does with a newsfeed, ability to share content and apps for Apple and Android devices.
What's not known: How would you keep it separate from your regular Facebook? Would it be more time consuming to manage two separate Facebook accounts? Would it be just another account to check?
When asked if he'd use Facebook for Work, Amplify Talent's Lars Schmidt, whose recruitment consultancy is based in Reston, Va., said "yes."
"I would definitely use Facebook at Work and think many others will, too. It's familiar functionality for users and the work profile is walled off from personal," Schmidt said.
"I use one Facebook account," Jay Kuhns, vice president of healthcare practice at recruitment process outsourcing firm Kinetix Talent, told SHRM Online on Twitter. Kuhns, who is based in Florida, also writes the No Excuses HR blog. He added that it's "too much effort to manage multiple [accounts] for 'my brand.' However, I am comfortable sharing a lot [personally and professionally]."
Joey Price, CEO of Maryland-based JumpStart:HR, an HR managed services company, added that he favors one Facebook page "with tiered levels of access. I have one personal Facebook page." He said he feels comfortable sharing family photos andmusings with his friends only. He shares business news, articles and the like by adjusting his privacy setting to public. "I'm all for consistent personal brand, but not at the expense of reasonable privacy," he said.
Jeremy Ames, CEO of Hive Tech HR, an HR systems consultant in Hopkinton, Mass., added he has "way too much going on to have multiple Facebook accounts. In my humble opinion it can be one account kept separate in other ways," which is what many people do now.
Aliah D. Wright is the author of " A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites." (SHRM, 2013).
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