Freemium Version of Facebook at Work by Year-End?

By David Cohen Comment

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Facebook at Work may be coming to an office near you by the end of the year.

Facebook at Work will bring elements of the social network to participating companies’ employees–including News Feed, groups, messages and events–but content on Facebook at Work will be kept separate from users’ personal Facebook accounts.

Facebook director of global platform partnerships Julien Codorniou told Re/code a freemium version of Facebook at Work would likely launch by year-end, adding that more than 100 companies have been beta-testing the product.

The social network began its pilot test of Facebook at Work in January, and Facebook employees have been using a version of it for “years,” according to Re/code.

Codorniou told Re/code businesses will start out with a free version of Facebook at Work, with the options of paying for extra features or more robust analytics, adding that the details are still being worked out.

Codorniou told Re/code 40 top executives at Heineken have been using Facebook at work, and the company plans to roll the product out to all 550 of its employees in the U.S. by the end of the month.

He offered similar news about Latin American e-commerce company Linio, saying that it would expand its use of Facebook at Work from 200 employees currently to 2,000 during the same time frame.

Social media management platform Hootsuite was also part of the beta-test group for Facebook at Work, and CEO Ryan Holmes stressed employees’ familiarity with the product due to their Facebook use, telling Re/code:

If somebody comes into the company, they know how to use this tool from day one, so the training cost is zero. That’s important.

It’s unrealistic that organizations try to lock people out of social. It’s like telling people that they can’t have their own personal phone, and I think that’s how millennials are perceiving that.

Linio chief marketing officer José María Pertusa told Re/code:

We’re a modern company. We actually expect them to use social media. That’s the way we acquire most of our customers anyway.

Readers: Would you like to see your company deploy Facebook at Work?

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