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Final Clap for the free Workplace by Facebook?

Alain Garnier return, through an opinion article he wrote, on the end of free access of the collaborative tools “Workplace from Facebook”.

Here is a surprising news… well, not for everyone! As the saying goes in marketing: “if it’s free, you’re the product”. And the professional users of the Facebook solution, called “Workplace”, should have suspected it. Because when a product is free, it means that, on the supplier’s side, there is advertising or use of personal data. Because when a product is free, it means that on the supplier's side there is advertising or use of personal data. This allows the provider to make the service profitable. Servers cost money, having bandwidth and store data as well. So how does Facebook make money? It's simple: they use their users data.

But, Facebook could not in times like these continue to rely on this business model and therefore decided to make its solution profitable.

The question now is: what can Facebook Workplace users can do? There are several options available to them. The first one is to see this change has an opportunity and look at alternative solutions.

Initially, there is something was we can call the “Facebook reflex”. The reflex to quickly install Facebook because of 3 elements:

  • the brand was known worldwide,

  • using Facebook was synonymous with a simple user experience for individuals

  • using the American solution was the best way to learn how to use a corporate social network.

The reality is more complex because what determines the functioning and success of an enterprise social network is actually the exchanges between employees. And it's not the simplicity of the interface that is decisive. It's the use that users will make of it. The question is how to share a document, annotate it, share it with their project group? This is not a social network for the general public, on the contrary, because it is the processes and actions that are important above all else.

I can conceed that Facebook have helped democratize the concept of sharing in a public social network and this concept is now evolving within the company world. The corporate social network has become one of the pillars of modern communication simply by bringing a logic of transversality: transversality of a team, transversality of a collective, of a profession, but also, for example, of a building that can bring together several people and that will allow information to circulate precisely between the people who are in these circles of interest.

Now, the good alternative is to switch to a corporate social network that does just that. And for this there are now cutting-edge European solutions. Because it is a fact that it is important to recognize today: Europe has a great lead in this area!

I can conceed that Facebook have helped democratize the concept of sharing in a public social network and this concept is now evolving within the company world.

The reason for this European lead can be explained. More than anywhere else, a company needs to adapt to its business context. A company needs to have a strong identity, to have its logo and colours, its jargon and dedicated tools. A company needs to have a well-defined governance: not everyone can publish every piece of information. It is even sometimes a regulatory issue. In any case, it is often a data security issue.

So yes, let's not deny our pleasure! It's true that I had predicted and foreseen the end of the free Workplace. However, I didn't know it was going to be so fast. I think that those who trusted Facebook must be biting their fingers a little... But I'm happy about this evolution, because it also marks the end of a cycle, a cycle built on a false promise: that of free service.

It's true that, on a personal level, I'm delighted to see Workplace clients arrive. They will be spoilt for choice with solutions that offer more possibilities in terms of functionality and handling. Not to mention the native integration of document management capabilities, calendaring, tasks, etc... which is simpler for the user experience.

Finally, when it comes to the user experience, it's true that the design of a Facebook is very! But the fact is that it's not enough... With Jamespot, you will not only find your main page, fed by all your various activities, but also with the possibility to add customizable blocks as you wish. You will find the logic of like of course, but with the possibility to add your own social actions! Basically, the best of both worlds: a Jamespot platform deployed in just one minute followed by a few minutes to paint it and put it in your colours. And here we go! Your enterprise social network is ready to go.

If you want to learn more about the Jamespot solutions and its features, you can get a personalized demonstration or a deploy your own Jamespot platform and test it as you see fit for 30 days!


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