With the impending release of Facebook at Work, it once again raises
the question of whether Social is the Future of Work.
Color us skeptical.
Now it seems that Facebook at Work is not just a social network
for work, but also a group chat system for work. We definitely believe that
chat has a big place in the future of work. So, the question is not
whether Facebook at Work will succeed, as much as whether the
social component of it will succeed.
Social is great for keeping up with the joneses (er bosses and
colleagues) but is that what companies primarily want out of their
productivity solutions? While it can’t hurt to know what Joe in
Marketing is up to, it could prove to be more of a distraction than
a productivity boost.
One thing that is often said of follow-type social graphs is that they
form an interest graph and this is true enough. So, the question is who or what
are workers in companies interested in following?
Hopefully employees are interested in following relevant projects,
relevant experts and relevant groups. However, equally likely,
many employees will be interested in following power. In other
words rather than following Joe in Marketing, they may be equal or
more likely to follow Bob their boss.
While this is undoubtedly good for Bob the boss’s ego, does it
really boost the productivity of the company as a whole?
Now regarding Facebook at Work itself, it’s chat system could be huge
and that in and of itself could propel it to success. But this would
be a product more like Slack than one like Facebook or Twitter or Yammer.
The other backbone (and bane) of productivity in the enterprise is email.
We at TMail21 are reinventing email to keep its best parts and reinvent
and reimagine its worst parts.
One of the ways we are doing this is to allow synchronous messaging
systems (such as the chat component of Facebook for Work) to
play well with asynchronous messaging. (email is a form of asynchronous
As chat becomes increasingly important within enterprises it is critical
that these two equally important systems don’t become two balkanized.
This recent blog article touches on this in more detail. Tracked Mail and Chat, a Match Made in Heaven
Now I need to end this article so I can head over and like a few of my boss’s
You can get started with TMail21 for free by clicking here.