This story appears in the February 6 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.

Fans of Facebook — and there are more than 1.7 billion of them — now have a near-mirror image of the social network they can use for their businesses. Dubbed Workplace by Facebook, the new application offers all the familiar features that have made Facebook the world’s most popular digital meeting place. The primary difference: Workplace enables businesses to use the Facebook environment to create an entirely private social network for their employees and trusted trading partners.

Webology 101 by Joe Dysart

Pilot-tested a year before its release in late 2016, Workplace by Facebook is looking to muscle in on other players offering social networks for business, including Slack, Jive, Basecamp, Trello, Asana and Teams, a business social network in development at Microsoft.

Each of these social network environments enables a business to create a searchable, interactive, highly flexible community where management and staff can meet virtually to get projects done.

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“Any tools that assist in collaboration are beneficial,” said JeanMarie Decker, director of internal communications at truckload carrier NFI Industries. “As the supply chain increases in complexity and there are often end-to-end solutions, tools like these can better enable communication and teamwork across business lines and departments.”

NFI Industries, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, ranks No. 27 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

Brian Helton, marketing and media relations manager at Mercer Transportation Co., agreed: “I can see how it could be a useful tool in providing one place for company info, announcements, workgroup think tanks, special interests, etc.”

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By Joe Dysart
Webology 101

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