Facebook is ready to make work as addictive as socializing. The Information (paywall) and close source to Facebook reported to TechCrunch that the company plans to launch its enterprise communication and collaboration network “Facebook At Work” in the next few weeks on a per-seat pricing model. Facebook Work director Julien Codorniou says Facebook believes it can keep individual employees engaged with the product, so it’s betting on a pricing plan that charges companies “per monthly active user” instead of charging a flat rate per company.
It will announce launch integrations or partnerships with other SaaS tool providers including Asana.
The social media giant started testing Facebook At Work last year and is scheduled to the launch the new service soon. Facebook plans to charge a subscription fee based on the number of employees who use the site. The new service is similar to a user’s personal Facebook but employees would only interact with people within their company. Initially, Facebook said it was going to release a free version of the product and then charge extra for additional features.
The most important thing to note with Facebook At is that it exists separately from your personal Facebook graph. It is a separate app and a separate platform for employees and work-related discussion. With this app, the businesses will have a contained workspace where employees will have to be logged in to interact with their personal Facebook accounts and discussions kept separate from the process.
According to current updates, Facebook At Work will be released within the next few weeks on a per-seat pricing model. The cost is projected to be between $1 and $5 per user, per month. The system will offer Groups and Messenger. It will also offer audio and video calling options. Facebook At Work has been in closed beta since last January with a range of businesses using the new system as part of the test pool. This system is used by Facebook internally to thoroughly test and understand the benefits and weaknesses of the system.
The biggest strength for Facebook At Work could be its familiarity. It should find onboarding users easier than many SaaS tools since people will already have a login, password, and know how to use it. Because almost everyone is familiar with the concepts of Facebook, it could quickly become a major player in the market. If a customer prefers it for security purposes, employees can also set up entirely separate accounts for business.
Given its ease of functionality and familiarity, it’s not hard to see why Facebook At Work would be appealing to business. As per the report of TechCrunch, the launch will come just as Microsoft scraps the Yammer Enterprise tier many companies currently use, which means there may be quite a few businesses on the look-out for a new option. Diversifying its revenue streams beyond advertising could help Facebook boost its bottom line without drowning its consumer users in marketing.