Some big changes are happening at Facebook, all with a view of making the platform friendlier to businesses.
A recent event in London saw the launch of Facebook Workplace, a service for business communication that competes with Slack. Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, which is partnering with Facebook on this service, said that it represented a shift in enterprise software where personal lives and the workplace blend, and business apps which act like consumer apps step in to help people be more productive. Employees can log into their Workplace account from their personal Facebook account and interact with their colleagues on shared projects.
Interestingly, the service is ad-free and instead funded with a subscription where the price decreases the more employees sign up. For now, this feels like an incentive to get as many people on board as quickly as possible (the internet is littered with dead social media sites that couldn’t grow their audiences fast enough), and so far there is no word on whether this is a permanent funding model. It’s entirely possible that advertising may replace the subscription model at a later date, which could be exciting for B2B organisations. On the other hand, as it grows in popularity, it may be seen as a necessity in the modern workplace, perhaps replacing Slack entirely, after which one can assume the subscription price may increase.
Meanwhile, Facebook is also tidying up Audience Network, its ad network of third party sites and apps. In an effort to address the gap between click values of on-Facebook ads and off-Facebook ads, ad slots on the Audience Network will now be scored based on the likelihood of people not only clicking on the ad, but continuing on to purchase or otherwise engage with the subject of the ad. Because of this, any publishers in the Audience Network can expect to see some fluctuation in their ad rates over the coming months. It is hoped that these changes, to be rolled out gradually, will help provide better value for businesses and persuade them to move past simple clicks as an ad objective.
With both changes announced in the same week, it’s clear that Facebook has their eye on businesses, rather than consumers, as they continue to develop.