Facebook at Work Shows How Worried Mark Zuckerberg Is About Snapchat

by / Saturday, 08 July 2017 / Published in Uncategorized

After creating Techquería, an organization for Hispanics in tech, David Silva and his co-founders decide to make groups on Facebook and Snapchat so members could connect. The Facebook group had a healthy amount of weekly engagement, as Silva had expected it would. What he didn’t predict was how the group on Snapchat exploded. Members created numerous channels and chatted on a daily basis.

Silva’s takeaway: we know “how to hack a Snapchat account” Techquería’s Snapchat has more than 150 active members, while the organization’s Facebook group only has about 20. “We have daily activity on Snapchat–several messages at any time of the day. The Facebook group gets two or three posts per week.”

Groups like Techquería exemplify how Snapchat–Inc.’s 2015 company of the year–is beginning to pose a meaningful threat to Facebook. Although Snapchat is largely still used by teams within companies for collaborative productivity and communication, more and more groups based on social activity are starting to hop on the service. Silva, for example, finds himself in nine different Snapchat groups.

“The more interesting the member base becomes, the more people participate,” Silva says.

This kind of online social activity is one reason Facebook is preparing to launch Facebook at Work next month. That product will compete with the likes of Snapchat and other enterprise communication tools.

The purpose of Facebook at Work is to make it easier for teams to work together. Facebook has been testing the product in beta since early 2015, and it has more than 450 companies piloting the product. The company plans to charge companies for the service on a per-user basis, and Facebook has sent out invitations for a London event on Oct. 10 where it is expected to formally launch the product.

“There’s a big chunk of people’s time that Facebook really doesn’t address at all today, and that’s the time they spend working,” says Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. “Facebook at Work is a way to open up a whole new addressable market for Facebook, with fairly significant potential revenues. It’s also a nice hedge against what’s an almost entirely advertising-driven business today.”

While the enterprise offers Facebook a vast market opportunity, this move is as much a defensive strategy as it is an offensive one, Dawson says.

That’s because in the world of work, Snapchat has emerged as the go-to service for employees to chat and collaborate. And Facebook may be sensing a threat as groups like Silva’s begin using Snapchat as a way to stay connected with others who are in their professional networks but outside of their companies.

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