Facebook Launches Workplace for Enterprise Customers

Hot Topic of the Week

The world’s most popular social network has just rolled out a new offering called Workplace, that allows companies to communicate, connect and collaborate. This platform is an office-communication tool intended to encourage group discussion amongst individuals in an organisation of any size, as well as secure communication between companies.

Facebook Workplace Logo Fantomdan

The tool has been used by over 1,000 companies for the past two years as a part of testing, however, the product was officially made public on 10 October 2016. The enterprise service is modelled after Facebook’s internal corporate network and is available on desktop and mobile. Workplace allows for cultural transformation with a focus on communication and collaboration.

“We’re going to grow Workplace like Instagram and Messenger” – Julien Codorniou, Director of Workplace

Although not the first of it’s kind, Workplace has the competitive advantage of users already being accustomed to the interface, whereas other business messaging software often requires additional training to use the platform. Familiar features such as News Feed, reactions, video and audio calling, direct messaging, live video, events, groups and translation options are included, while all advertising has been excluded (for now).

Facebook Workspace Get Started
Companies can apply to use the platform via the Workplace website. After completing the online form, a sales representative will be in contact with you via telephone.

Unlike the free Facebook we all know, there is a monthly fee required for active Workplace users. While this is unusual for Facebook, pricing is competitive compared to other enterprise software on the market. A free three-month trial is available to try out the product, thereafter a $1, $2 or $3 cost will be incurred depending on how many employees are using the tool. Non-profit organisations and educational institutions may use Workplace for free.

How Is It Different From Facebook?

Rather than having friends as your audience, you create and join groups with your co-workers to be a part of relevant conversations. Workplace is a separate account associated with your company. Posts shared on your personal Facebook profile and Workplace account are kept completely separate, which means that you don’t even have to have a Facebook account to use the company tool. Employers are not able to monitor your personal Facebook profile, however, publicly posted content is viewable by anyone, including Workplace users.

With over 1 billion users, Facebook has undoubtedly changed the way we communicate. Constant innovation has made this social network the preferred platform for many individuals and has also become a powerful marketing tool. Although Workplace shows promise, there are numerous other cloud-based tools available. Time will tell if this is a worthwhile addition from Facebook Inc., or a failed attempt after a lengthy delay in the roll-out while competitors dominate this space.

What are your thoughts? Do you think a tool like Workplace is necessary? Are other offerings just as good, if not better? Do you believe Workplace will replace platforms such as WhatsApp Groups or Skype in a work setting?

For more information on the new Workplace, click here.

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Internet Censorship Restricts Video Uploads in SA

The South African government has approved the submission of the Films and Publications (FPB) Amendment Bill, which restricts South Africans from uploading videos to online channels, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, unless they have registered as a distributor and have paid a registration fee.

A cabinet statement released mid-August 2016 announced that the Films and Publications Act of 1996 will be adapted as technology has advanced. The Internet Censorship Bill will give the government the right to monitor and censor content on the internet. The bill applies not only to media, companies and organisations but to all South African entities, including members of the public. Although initially started to restrict child pornography and revenge porn, broad terminology and vague definitions allow for the government to tap into any and all internet activity. This means that any video content contributor on any social media platform will be tracked (name, address, and age) and all distributors will need to register with the FPB.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been against the bill since talk of the amendment was brought to light, and has vocalised their concerns of freedom of expression on the internet being curtailed, which is unconstitutional. They have also commented on the feasibility of enforcing such a bill. “This means every single person with a social media account in South Africa would have to register with the Film and Publication Board as a distributor and pay the requisite fee for pre-classification. This is quite clearly unworkable”, said DA spokesperson on communication, Phumzile van Damme. Click on the image below to sign the DA petition to fight against internet monitoring.

DA Internet Censorship Petition
Petition to throw out the internet monitoring bill.

The Internet Censorship Bill will be deliberated today (20 September 2016), and so we as South Africans await to hear the outcome.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below. Is there more we could do as South Africans to fight against this bill?


What Is YouTube Community?

Google is testing a new feature on YouTube called Community, which hopes to create a more ‘social’ network by encouraging more engagement without users having to leave the platform.

Although I was apprehensive at first about YouTube introducing Community, after the launch on 13 September 2016, I must admit I’m quite excited to see how the addition will change the platform.

VSauce Community Page
So far the new feature has been well received by the community as YouTubers have shared a number of posts, which have received an influx of engagement.

Although not available to the general public just yet, select YouTubers such as Vsauce3, AspSCIENCE, Peter Hollens, Sam Tsui, The Game Theorists, The Key of Awesome, Threadbanger, The Kloons, John & Hank Green, Karmin, Rosianna Halse Rojas and Lilly Singh have been given the opportunity to test the new Community tab, which is accessible to anyone who visits their channels.

What Is It?

Welcome to our Community Tab
I was first made aware that Community had launched after I received a notification on my phone informing me that AsapSCIENCE had their Community Tab.

Community is a new feature that allows YouTube to be more than just a video sharing platform. A new tab will be added to a channel where visitors can access a YouTuber’s feed and engage with them in a new way. In an attempt to make YouTube more social, this addition hopes to encourage feedback and interaction between uploaders and their audience. The launch of G+ in 2011 was Google’s first attempt at creating a viable social network to rival Facebook, which was an expensive failure for the brand. With the introduction of Community, Google hopes to make the user experience more seamless and allow for a more social community.

What this means for YouTubers is that YouTubers will now have the ability to upload photos, videos, gifs and share text post with their audience.

What this means for viewers is that you can engage with your favourite vlogger without leaving their channel. Fans can like and comment on posts, as well as receive notifications when a channel publishes a new update to the tab.

Community is in BETA phase at the moment, however, is expected to roll out in the next few months. So far, the response seems to be positive, however, YouTube will be monitoring the public’s response to add new features and functionality.

I’m excited to see how Community will add to the YouTube experience as a subscriber and as a vlogger, and whether or not it will impact any of the other social media platforms. My prediction is that Facebook and Twitter will be used by YouTubers as more of a marketing tool, and their Community feed will be used to connect with their audience on a more personal level. It’s certainly an interesting new venture and I’m sure we’ll all be watching this space.

Check out the Community tabs available on the above mentioned YouTuber’s channels and let me know your thoughts.