That's a lot of likes: 100,000 bankers will get Facebook at Work for corporate social networking

Royal Bank of Scotland prepares for giant implementation of business-flavoured social network.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

While most companies frown at you browsing Facebook during office hours, at one bank it will soon be obligatory for workers.

Royal Bank of Scotland has said it plans to roll out the business version of Facebook to all 100,000 of its staff by the end of next year.

RBS began the pilot of Facebook At Work in July this year and it will be rolled out to 30,000 employees by end of March 2016: the plan is that by the end of 2016 all RBS employees will be using it.

Facebook at Work is the business-focused version of the social network: instead of sharing baby pictures with friends or 'liking' trivial status updates, workers can use it to interact with co-workers. It has a similar look-and-feel to the standard version and employees will be able to use similar features, allowing them to post photos, create groups and events, update their work profiles, and send private messages to colleagues.

While there are a huge number of enterprise collaboration tools available no one company has managed to dominate the market: Facebook will be hoping that it can leverage its huge success in the consumer world to some benefit here.

The bank said Facebook At Work will encourage collaboration and allow employees to communicate faster and more efficiently. "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," RBS said.

It said that during the pilot 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 come up with better ideas for projects. Staff will also be able to use the mobile versions of the app as part of the rollout.

Facebook At Work is separate to workers' personal Facebook accounts, which RBS said means any information shared between RBS employees is only accessible to other colleagues within the bank. It emphasised that "information shared on the site will be safe, secure and confidential."

RBS Chief Administrative Officer Simon McNamara, said: "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."

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