Oh boy… facebook is expanding to include companies. I can just see where this is going. The amount of time wasted at work browsing facebook is going to be phenomenal. See… there’s a big difference between college and the corporate world. In the former, you are paying to be there, in the latter, you are getting paid to be there. I can’t imagine companies are going to be very friendly to the idea of people using company time to browse the facebook.
I wonder if there have been any court cases involving companies blocking certain sites. Here’s a wild prediction of a possible court battle…
Microsoft starts to see a bunch of people using the facebook… and not for business purposes either, just for social, outside of work type stuff. Microsoft says, “Hey, our employees are wasting time on a site that doesn’t do our business any good. Furthermore, we have been developing internally our own version of the facebook, but more geared towards businesses than the facebook currently is. We’ll block facebook so that our employees will be forced to use our not-as-cool facebook clone. Once we have Microsoft employees on board, we’ll sell this software to other companies and make lots of money.” Then, facebook sues Microsoft for loss of business or something and it goes to the supreme court, and they make some sort of ruling.
Ok, so I admit, that’s a pretty wild prediction. There are at least a few problems with it. 1) The number employees at Microsoft is really small compared to the number of people using facebook, so I can’t really see any one company with that scenario. 2) I think companies have the right to block things going to their internal networks. After all, they own their network and everything inside it, right? 3) No one will dare to challenge Microsoft in the legal realm unless they are sure to win…
So, basically, my point is that, facebook as it currently stands is not suited for corporate use, and companies will catch onto that fact very quickly and ban its use or create policies against it or whatever. Maybe facebook does have plans to make their service more useful to businesses and eventually companies won’t mind their employees using the service. But, they better get moving quick, or another site will push them out of the market. I kinda doubt facebook will change much to accomodate large corporations though. They have a good thing going with the college market. What they might want to do though is to make facebook less of a time waster and more of a school helper. I don’t know if that’s even possible, or if that’s what people really want.
Hmm… interesting. I just looked at the facebook terms of service. It specifically states that facebook may only be used for non-commercial purposes:
“You understand that the Service and the Web site are available for your personal, non-commercial use only.”
Here’s a couple related entries from a blog I just found called Inside Facebook:
Congressman introduces bill to block Facebook
Facebook opens its doors to a slew of companies