Facebook launches Workplace to control social networking within the office

Surveillance of your world is about to increase exponentially. Facebook recently unveiled its new application called Workplace. Now data can be extracted from each employee while they enjoy instant access to videos, status updates, photos, chats, likes and more. It’s similar in design to the normal Facebook, but as The Telegraph reports, it’s color is a more corporate “muted grey” as opposed to the typical blue. And, instead of friending your office coworkers, the activity will be a bit more formal. You’ll “follow each other” and join groups so you can “track the updates in their News Feed.”

The Workplace is meant to be populated with data about business meetings, plans, designs, shifts in marketing, business strategies and all other thoughts, words or pictures and graphs associated with that particular endeavor. Will Facebook users hold back their typical social chatter? Could some accidentally reveal their depression? What does all the uploading of proprietary information to yet another Facebook application really mean?

If the worker doesn’t already have a regular Facebook account at home, no problem. This new Workplace by Facebook is a separate service that they claim doesn’t share data with the other 1.7 billion uses of the ubiquitous application. There won’t be any advertising on Workplace. The money is made by charging the company a monthly fee ranging from $1 to $3 per user.  They have recently gained Starbucks and the government of Singapore as clients.

Facebook has been testing this program internally for a couple of years. One interesting offshoot is the downward trend of emails. With Workplace, if a Facebook employee wants to make sure they receive Mark Zuckerberg’s staff announcements, it won’t come via email, which is considered cumbersome and old hat. Important announcements don’t waste time unread in an email box. Instead, they are instant messaged to a Workplace group. “The mission was not to kill email,” says global Workplace leader Julien Codorniou, “but it is what happens.”

Other testing sites included prestigious organizations like the National Institute for the Blind, Club Med and the Royal Bank of Scotland. They’ve said the application has gone live, with the Singapore government and Starbucks with the complete Workplace package.

As Facebook invades the workplace, it also recently announced a partnership with Microsoft. Facebook CIO Tim Campos has blogged about utilizing some of Microsoft’s 365 cloud services. As Microsoft innovates, Campos writes, ” we will continue  . . . rolling out more services for Facebook.” None of this bodes well for our individual and ever waning privacy.





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