Say what you want to about the relative merits of Facebook, but with 1.35 billion users, businesses, and whatnot either signed up or actively participating, it’s a huge pool of information that most places are locked out of due to corporate Internet and intranet policies. However, given how much people need Facebook to work to cope with life, it’s not surprising that businesses are looking to soften their standards and Facebook is looking to get into the lucrative business field. Facebook has launched a trial Facebook At Work app, which offers a Facebook experience without the tracking software or advertisements. It’s designed to be workplace safe, and for use in the workplace for research purposes.
“I can say that the challenges of making work more efficient is something that has been on my mind for a long time, and I come to it with a lot of passion and the knowledge of a failure of doing this at a different company,” said Facebook engineering director Lars Rasmussen, who was one of the lead developers of the failed Google Wave program. “We have found that using Facebook as a work tool makes our work day [at Facebook] more efficient. You can get more stuff done with Facebook than any other tool that we know of, and we’d like to make that available to the whole world.”
According to some studies, using Facebook at work actually boosts productivity. Workers were split into three groups: no breaks, breaks but no Internet, and breaks with Internet and Facebook time. The Facebook group were 16 percent more productive than the no Internet break group, and 40 percent more productive than the no break group.
Facebook at Work allows users to set up a business-centric account, like a Facebook version of LinkedIn but with a different look from normal Facebook. It’s the worker’s choice whether or not they want to link their Facebook to their Facebook at Work account.
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