HUNGRY DATA HIPPO Facebook has promised to launch the work version of its time-wasting solution very soon.
The firm reckons that the time blight will hit worker desktops in the next few months and will not be used for things like crushing candy or, presumably, assessing the global cat situation.
Reuters is first with the news, hot from Julien Codorniou, director of global platform partnerships at Facebook, who explained that the system is very much like the consumer version, except it is designed to make users more productive. This means no crap apps or gimmicky gewgaws but a lot of the other crap that you might have come to expect.
"You cannot play Candy Crush on Facebook at Work," he told Reuters. "I would say 95 per cent of what we developed for Facebook is also adopted for Facebook at Work."
The service has been a year in testing, and is almost ready for mass consumption. We suspect that people use Facebook at work already, but presumably this option will be officially sanctioned by the big cheeses and will not require a very quick tab closing whenever someone gets near a desk.
The service will be invite-only at first, but presumably will soon be allowed to spread across industry like a flesh-eating virus. It may lead to productivity gains, it may be ignored by users, and it might open up businesses to targeted advertising.
If you use Facebook already, and miss the 1990s portal approach to workplace communications, 2016 could be your lucky year.
According to Lars Rasmussen, the engineering director leading the London-based Facebook at Work project, this is an acknowledgement of the fact that people use Facebook and that that could cause problems for business if no one is in control.
"Facebook became a bigger and bigger part of our work day. We've been discussing it for years so now we're making the first externally available product. I've had a long passion for making work more efficient," he said this January when Facebook first ran the proposition up the flagpole.
"One very important aspect here for an employer is that when an employee shares content on Facebook at Work it belongs to the employer, whereas on personal Facebook it belongs to the creator." µ
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