On Monday, Facebook is expected to officially launch the enterprise tool it has been testing for over a year. Facebook at Work will be available for a fee, not yet publicly announced, for each employee using the business collaboration service, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Shifting to a fee-based (rather than ad-based) revenue strategy isn’t the only audacious thing about the Facebook at Work launch. The Palo Alto-based company is also throwing its hat into a ring with several heavy hitters — Slack, Microsoft, and Google, to name a few.
But Facebook is banking on its massive existing user base to drive adoption of the enterprise service. The tool has been successfully tested with companies like Telenor, Century 21, Heineken, Royal Bank of Scotland, Weber Shandwick, Hootsuite, and others.
Employees using the tool create accounts separate from their personal Facebook profiles. Facebook at Work is a stand-alone desktop and mobile app and employers, not employees maintain administrative power over the accounts like other enterprise tools. The service has corporate-level security features and won’t support ads, according to WSJ. Like Facebook standard, the tool has one-on-one and group chat options.
Facebook at Work could pose a distinct threat to the Microsoft, as it competes with several of the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant’s services. Microsoft operates the business-oriented social network Yammer, Skype for Business, and in June the company agreed to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Like LinkedIn, Facebook at Work’s feed and algorithm lets employees share content within their professional network.
“Rather than having friends as your audience, you create and join groups with your coworkers to be a part of relevant conversations,” says the Facebook at Work website.
The site says Facebook at Work is still accepting applications for its free early adopter program but WSJ reports an official launch announcement by Facebook VP Nicola Mendelsohn is scheduled for Monday.