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Will Facebook (FB) Find Success with Facebook At Work?

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Per media reports, over the next few weeks, Facebook Inc. (FB - Free Report) could launch its business-centric communication network, Facebook at Work.

Facebook had officially announced that it was piloting an “at-work” version in 2015. The apps, for both iOS and Android platforms, will help corporate houses to create their own social network. Facebook will reportedly not be charging companies a flat rate. Its subscription fee will be based on the number of employees who use its ‘for-office’ platform.

Analysts observe that Facebook at Work’s familiarity with the social media platform could benefit it greatly. The look and feel of the app is almost similar to Facebook itself with a Work Feed, status updates, and single and group message platforms among other features. Plus, there are no advertisements on the platform and there will be more privacy as the company will not track users or hold their data.

However, the familiarity may also be its key challenge. In terms of users, most people may have a personal Facebook account but a workplace account is a very different thing. As Tech Crunch puts it, “Facebook will just have to conquer the stigma that it’s for fooling around, not for getting work done”.

Per a Jun 2016 Gartner report, global spending for enterprise software will grow 7% year over year to $367.5 billion in 2016.This is a lucrative opportunity for Facebook because of the higher margins involved. However, the enterprise software space is highly competitive with the presence of other business centric communication products like Slack, Convo, Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Yammer and Salesforce’s (CRM - Free Report) Chatter. 

So far, Facebook has brought on board over 450 companies to beta test its “for-office” platform and has nearly 60K on the waiting list. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS - Free Report) is one of its biggest client wins. In 2015, Facebook for Work was selected by The Royal Bank of Scotland to connect its 100,000 employees.

In May this year, India became the “the fastest adopter of the product in Asia”. Facebook at Work found tremendous success in India with over 15 big corporate houses like Practo, Delhivery, Ibibo, Yes Bank, L&T Infotech, Godrej, Zomato, Paytm, UST Global, Girnarsoft, AskMe, Telenor and the Landmark Group opting to use Facebook at Work. 

At present, Facebook carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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