News began to trickle out today of Facebook’s ‘soft’ release of “Facebook at Work,” a smartphone app aimed at the workplace that lets businesses create their own social networks to use for collaboration purposes. According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch, Facebook at Work (also referred to as “FB@Work” or simply as “Work”) will look and feel similar to the consumer version of the social network, with a few noteworthy differences–namely, advertisements won’t appear in the application, and Facebook does not intend to track user activity or data. In particular, the new app employs the idea of “Groups” as an answer to the inefficiencies of email collaboration.
… Because Facebook at Work is still in its early stages of release, its prospects are uncertain. Hyoun Park, chief research officer of Blue Hill Research, noted that Facebook continues its mission to provide specific applications for certain use cases, pointing to Messenger for personal messages, WhatsApp for mobile messaging, Oculus VR for virtual interactivity, and Instagram for pictures, as examples. When you look at these other moves Facebook has made, it makes sense for Facebook at Work to be separated from Facebook from a social graph perspective by not tracking users or their data, he said.