Mr. Peter Ong, Head of the Singapore Civil Service, recently announced that Singapore will be the first public service to use Workplace by Facebook. Currently, there are 15 agencies and more than 5,300 public officers using Workplace by Facebook and by end of March 2017, the plan is to get all 143,000 civil servants connected through Workplace by Facebook. Since most people are familiar with the personal version of Facebook, it is almost intuitive to think that Workplace by Facebook would be like the usual version of Facebook- it is clearly NOT the case.
According to the Facebook Helpcentre, Workplace by Facebook is explained as such:
“Workplace lets you create a Workplace account that is separate from your personal Facebook account. With a Workplace account, you can use Facebook tools to interact with coworkers. Things you share using your Workplace account will only be visible to other people at your company.” The official Workplace by Facebook page states:“Workplace is a dedicated and secure space for companies to connect, communicate and collaborate. Organisations of all sizes can use familiar Facebook features such as News Feed, groups, messages and events to get things done.”
In other words, it is a misnomer to think that Workplace by Facebook is your regular Facebook – it is specifically designed for workplace settings with security built-in and separate from personal Facebook accounts. For those who are curious, companies and organisations like Columbia Sportswear Company (USA), Booking.com (Europe) and even Singapore’s newest government agency, the Government Technology Agency of Singapore, GovTech, is on Workplace by Facebook.
Interestingly, Workplace by Facebook was only officially launched on 10 October 2016, so perhaps it is really cool that the Singapore Government became the first public service in the world to begin implementing it one month after its official launch.