Normally, if an employee is caught using Facebook instead of working, it can be a big deal. That’s not the case when they’re using Workplace by Facebook. Workplace, a social media platform for enterprise level businesses created by Facebook, silently crept into the marketplace after companies like Slack made social networking at work less of a forbidden concept.
For collaboration, platforms like this make a lot of sense. But until recently, it was difficult to see what differentiated Facebook for the average user from Facebook for business. As it turns out, there are a lot of different parts under the hood.
Facebook Workplace Introduces Safety Check and Improved Feeds
Workplace is in the news right now because it has recently implemented the familiar Facebook Safety Check feature in a way that makes more sense for businesses.
Like with regular Facebook, the Facebook for Business Safety Check is all about making sure the people who matter are safe, should an emergency disaster occur. Unlike that regular Safety Check, the administration of the system is turned over to a human resources or information technology team.
Facebook itself describes the process in these three steps:
- That is, find the problem and who may be affected.
- Let employees in the area of potential threat know what’s going on. Find them wherever they are by pushing notices to Workplace Chat, adding a post at the top of their feed, using push notifications to their mobile devices and sending out emails. This step also seeks the status of the employee, so they can be aided or counted safe.
- Anyone who hasn’t responded continues to get pummeled with messages until they share their status. After all, it could be a life or death situation.
This enhanced Safety Check feature may be the first really visible diversion from the original Facebook platform, though it is clearly based on the one used by Workplace’s parent program. The other new feature is one that’s less visible, but more useful in the day to day. It involves the way that the algorithms sort feeds.
The Infamous Facebook Algorithm Update
Anyone who has used Facebook for any amount of time knows how frustrating it can be to log into your account, only to find that you’re staring at a post from three weeks ago about a major life event in your family that you had no idea had occurred. Facebook’s tweaking of algorithms is almost legendary, and not always in a good way.
For Workplace, however, the social giant seems to have gotten things right. Algorithms are sorted in a way that is productive for workplaces, including prioritizing messages from or about topics originating from C-Suite members, as well as department managers. It’s smart enough to know who an employee tends to work with and, thus, who should be given priority. And, maybe most impressively, it ensures that workers don’t come back from a long, restful vacation only to see a bunch of messages that are far overdue and not really meant for them anyway.
Facebook for Business has grown by leaps and bounds, according to the company, but it faces a lot of competition in the Enterprise-level arena. Along with the traditional brands like Oracle and now Slack, Facebook and Google are both going after the same pie with lofty ideas of turning work into social media, or social media into work.