All you need to know about Facebook at Work

Have you used Facebook at Work? I’m not talking about logging in to your personal account, but the dedicated enterprise social network (ESN).

New brandNot another ESN to choose from? Yes indeed. There are scores on the market, I’ve been blogging about them since 2009 and every year there’s another one to add to the list.

October 2016 update: Facebook at Work is now known as Workplace by Facebook.

The market for workplace communications was valued by Frost & Sullivan at $11.67 billion and the online career market, which includes LinkedIn, is worth about $6 billion (£4 billion) annually according to market research firm IDC.

It’s unsurprising there are constant new kids on the block.

Facebook is hardly new, it’s been around since 2004 with a mission to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, I thought I’d take a look at Facebook at Work. Through this article I’m going to examine what we know so far, particularly as it’s reportedly due for wider release this year, after a year of testing and trials.

Is it going to be a game changer and nudge other ESNs out? Will it be a contender to Slack and Yammer’s crowns? Or will it be deemed too scary by corporate IT departments who are wary of privacy concerns?

There’s a lot of hype around, I want to take us back to the facts and look at what we know so far.

FBFurther reading: Seen what your employees are saying about you?

2 March update: Financial Times is latest company to announce plans to use it.

2 February update: Facebook at Work has just launched! See their brand new website.

2 February update: Facebook has published a whitepaper called Security at work, which is worth checking out.

What is it?

Facebook at Work lets you create a work account that is separate from your personal Facebook account. With a Facebook at Work account, you can use Facebook tools to interact with coworkers.

Things you share using your work account will only be visible to other people at your company.

To set up a work account, your company must be using Facebook at Work.


What does it look like?

There is a Work Chat feature, similar to Messenger. It allows employees to join group chats, share photos or videos, use stickers, make voice calls and send individual messages.

There are no adverts and it ‘doesn’t track users or hold on to their data.’

It has a grey banner across the top rather than the usual Facebook blue.

“I would say 95 per cent of what we developed for Facebook is also adopted for Facebook at Work,” Julien Codorniou, director of global platform partnerships at Facebook, told Reuters.

Who’s using it?
Here’s a screenshot shared on Twitter yesterday by @mattintouch in Paris, who is beta testing it at CosaVostra in France:


There are also various images of it on Twitter:

Who is using it so far?

According to the Wall Street Journal, 60,000 companies applied to try it, with 300 being successful.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) became the first bank to sign up to the business version in July 2015. They have 100,000 employees and are reportedly the largest employer to sign up to date. 30,000 employees are due to be using it by March and the remainder by the end of this year.

As well as using it on their desktop computers, employees can download it to their phones and tablets to keep track of work when they are on the move.

Other companies trying Facebook at Work are rumoured to include Heineken, Century21 and French Lagardere and Weber Shandwick in New York.

Are you using it? If so and you’d like to share your experiences, do please get in touch.

October 2016 update: You can find a full list of case studies via my blog.

Who's using Workplace


Writing on their website, RBS says having piloted Facebook At Work, they’ve “quickly found staff were able to work much more efficiently together, answer customer questions faster, update other colleagues on their work in a much more engaging way and source a far wider range of ideas for on-going projects.

“Given how many people already use Facebook in their every day lives, it was picked up quickly by those on the pilot, with minimal training needed.”

Listen to what RBS says
Simon McNamara, Group Chief Administrative Officer at RBS was interviewed by Share Radio at the end of 2015:

Who can see what?
Facebook At Work is completely separate from personal Facebook accounts, meaning information shared between RBS employees is confidential and only accessible to other colleagues within the bank, in line with other ESNs.

simon-mcnamara-220Simon McNamara (pictured), says: “I’ve already been using Facebook At Work while we test it and it’s been so useful – allowing me to exchange information and ideas quickly and securely with all my team on a wide range of projects.

“I’m excited about how bringing people together from all across the bank through Facebook At Work can help our employees do their job better – whether it’s being able to find answers to customer queries much faster or helping us come up with bright new ideas.”

What struck me from Simon’s podcast comments was his emphasis on how “secure, tried and tested, encrypted information can benefit us” and the differences between professional and personal Facebook accounts.

For example, Simon says his profile picture on his Facebook at Work account is him in a suit and tie, whereas his private Facebook profile picture shows him in a straw hat.

So do we need to get better at managing identifies and our online personas? Undoubtedly. But people do that anyway, e.g. how you write on LinkedIn and the photograph you use is typically more professional than a personal Facebook profile.

Commenting, Sean Ryan, VP of Platform Partnerships from Facebook said: “Facebook is a simple way for people to connect, share ideas and organise events. We hope Facebook At Work will help RBS, which employs 100,000 people, bring staff closer together and allow them to collaborate on projects much more effectively.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 11.53.42

Want to try it?
Facebook has a form you can complete to request more information.

Is it the same as Business Manager?
No. Facebook at Work is a tool for coworkers to communicate and collaborate in a professional environment on Facebook. Business Manager is a tool for businesses to manage ads and Pages.

How do I link my Facebook at Work account to my personal Facebook account?
You can link your personal Facebook account to your Facebook at Work account to log into both accounts with the same email and password. Note: When you link your accounts, none of your information, posts or activity from your personal account can be seen on your work account.

How is my work account different from my personal Facebook account?
Your work account is a place for you to connect and collaborate with your coworkers, join groups related to your team or projects, and get company news and updates. Your personal account is for connecting with friends and family, and sharing moments from your life.
Your work account is only visible to people at your company and is separate from your personal account. What you share to your work account can only be seen by people in your company, and what you share to your personal account can only be seen based on your privacy settings.

When I post something from my work account, who can see it? 

When you share something from your work account, you can share it to a group or to your Timeline. When you share something to a group your post may show up on your Timeline, depending on the privacy settings of the group.
The people who manage Facebook at Work at your company can access anything you share from your work account, just as they might access your work emails and other work files.

What information appears on my work profile? 

Facebook at work logo When you set up your work account, your profile will automatically include information provided by your employer. This may include details like your name, job title, and work contact info. Since your employer provides this info, you should contact your company’s human resources department if you want to edit any of the details.
You can personalise your work profile by adding information like a profile picture, cover photo and other details in the About section.

How are companies using it?

iAdvize has published information about how they are using Facebook at Work, including the infographic below, in which they’ve described it as their number one internal communications tool:


What do I think?

I’m intrigued by Facebook at Work, I can see many clear benefits, not least the fact it’s easy-to-use and in a format many people are familiar with.

Employee-led communication is the way forward.

Yes there are privacy concerns, but there always are. Make sure you clearly outline its expected use and behaviours, understand how the data will be used and stored, and align with existing policies you have e.g. HR/IT/Legal.

If you’re looking for advice and guidance on creating policies or guidance for employees, see my list of 300+ social media policies.

Further reading via the All Things IC blog

Further reading: Find out more about All Things IC communication consultancy.

Further reading: Facebook at Work is now Workplace by Facebook.

Further reading: How a brewery is using Facebook at Work

You can read more thoughts from professional communicators as Facebook at Work was the topic of this week’s #esnchat on Twitter. You can join the chat every week @ESNchat.

You can view the whole conversation via Storify.

Comments included:

Further reading

Techcrunch: Royal Bank of Scotland signs up to Facebook at Work

I’ll keep you posted as more information is released, but I’d love to know your thoughts. You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 28 January 2016.

Want to learn more about internal communication? Search All Things IC Masterclasses to find the right course for you.


  1. Really interesting to see the take up – that may be the early adopter status of the organisations and the people within them or it may be because individuals as so familiar with FB that they feel comfortable interacting in this way. Initial reports seem like a much higher interaction rate that other ESN’s I’ve looked at or read about. Be interesting to see what the roll out will be (and the potential costs). Thanks for sharing

  2. Skvulp uke 5 says:

    […] Allthingsic har en grundig gjennomgang […]

  3. Tony Stewart says:

    A great summary Rachel!

    Still so much mystery around the tool, certainly in terms of the collaboration/document sharing capabilities, which I see as essential if the platform is to evolve into more a digital workplace than a digital watercooler.

    Both have their value, but the workplace is where the really cool stuff happens!

  4. […] Overview of what Facebook at Work is: See my blog article. […]

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How can we help?

All Things IC helps practitioners around the globe increase their knowledge of internal communication.

There’s a variety of ways we can support you including trainingconsultancy and mentoring to boost your skills and confidence.

Or visit the shop to see everything we offer.

Who has hired All Things IC?

Clients say working with All Things IC leaves them feeling inspired, motivated, full of ideas and ready to turn plans into action.

We’re proud to have been invited to work with, and advise, some of the world’s leading brands.

Get in touch...

Would you like to work with All Things IC? Do get in touch below. Please note we only accept guest post ideas from in-house IC pros who have read the blogging guidelines.

Asking for advertising, back links or pitching services? We do not offer these and will not reply. Thank you.