Monday, May 01, 2006

Social Media Now In The Workplace - Facebook Goes Corporate

With all the buzz about, is the first of the major 'social media' sites to move aggressively into the corporate realm.

Facebook is now allowing new users from a select group of corporations to join their social network, including: Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EA, Gap, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Pepsi, PWC and Teach for America. And Techcrunch says Facebook may add another 1,000 companies on this week.

Since over 85% of college students have signed up for Facebook, one can only wonder how many corporate user will try out the service.

What does this mean for corporations?

For starters, the ability for employees to share information and best practices quicker and easier than ever. It will also likely spur easier recruiting.

Of course, without policies and guidelines created by 'member' companies for their employees, what their employees post on Facebook and how these employees use Facebook are entirely up to each user.

If you're not familiar with either of these sites, they connect users together in a community who share attributes. Facebook says it's an "online directory that connects people through social networks." Myspace says it's a "private community where [users] can share photos, journals, and interests with a growing network of mutual friends."

Facebook and Myspace started with the college market - users need an legitimate .edu email to sign up (this supposedly kept the registrations limited to actual college students). They moved to add the high school market and now Facebook is going corporate.

It's worth noting that Facebook has chosen to seed the corporate market: instead of focusing on one sector or industry they’ve chosen leading companies in several industries that typically hire top-caliber grads (consulting, software development, hardware development, consumer products).

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