Can Facebook Change Its Reputation?

When I first saw the details of Facebook’s new Group features, I thought surely they were making a move to be more business oriented. What with the ease of creating private group spaces, with a collaborative backbone and group discussions, this isn’t just about making planning a party better, or sharing pictures with your family easier. This is a full on move into business collaboration.

This even makes more sense when you consider that other collaboration spaces, like Google Docs, or hosted Wiki solutions, require folks to create accounts on those services in order to share things on them. Facebook has the advantage of already having 500 million users. There’s not much work they nee to do to be the place where identity is built-in.

On the other hand, Facebook profiles tend to be the “personal” identity for many people, not one they attach any professional significance to. The biggest obstacle to getting people to use it for business collaboration isn’t the feature set, it’s seeing Facebook as a professional tool in the first place. Facebook not only has to design a killer feature, it has to convince all of those folks who use “LinkedIn for professional, and Facebook for friends and family”, to change that. Then they have to change the minds of all those businesses who don’t even let their employees access Facebook during the day.

I’m just not sure Facebook can do it.

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