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Facebook Wants to Be Your New Office Communication System

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on October 13, 2016 12:59 PM

Forget email, instant messages, and shared Google calendars. When it comes to managing your office, Facebook thinks its social network is the place to do it. The company launched its office-friendly version of the social network on Monday.

Known as Workplace, this version of Facebook replaces status updates and cat pictures with status updates and productivity tools, to help employees collaborate more easily.

Facebook for Professionals

If you've used Facebook before, and you have, Facebook's Workplace won't be unfamiliar. The most visible difference is that Workplace is shaded white, instead of Facebook's distinctive blue. It offers groups, reactions, chat, posts, video -- pretty much everything that the regular Facebook has.

But, since Workplace is business focused, your social media stream won't be flooded with pictures from your cousin's wedding or your old roommate's political rants. Instead, Workplace will let employees watch their bosses address the organization through Facebook Live, for example. Lawyers could update each other in a Workplace-based group chat.

From Social Media to Enterprise Software

Of course, Facebook's Workplace isn't practice management software and its prime audience definitely is not attorneys. If you're looking for any of the "tailored to legal practice" features you can find in a practice management program, you're not going to find it on Workplace. We doubt many attorneys will rush to try out Workplace. (If we're wrong, let us know!)

Facebook is aiming for a more general business audience. Its move into enterprise software is meant to compete with companies like Slack, which offer a social media inspired collaboration platforms. And Facebook isn't alone. Microsoft is moving in that direction as well. After buying up LinkedIn, Microsoft is now looking to add social elements to the networking website's business tools.

If you do want to try out Workplace, though, you won't have to shell out a ton of money. Facebook will charge companies a monthly fee of $3 per employee for a company's first 1,000 users. Regular Facebook, of course, remains free.

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