As you check into your hotel this holiday season and notice the receptionist chatting on Facebook, they may not be distracted. They may be using Facebook at Work to see if your room is available.
Club Mediterranee, the owner of the Club Med resort chain, is the first global travel company to begin testing Facebook at Work, a platform that about 300 companies in industries from banking to brewing are already trialing, before it becomes widely available in 2016.
"Facebook at Work is a user-friendly mobile tool which will be essential to contribute to pooling ideas and innovation at Club Med, creating a more productive workplace," Anne Browaeys-Level, Club Med's chief digital marketing officer, said in a press release.
With the addition of Club Med to its team of testing partners, Facebook has taken another step toward entering the already saturated business communication and collaboration market, where it will go head-to-head with entrenched players, including Microsoft and Alphabet's Google, as well as start-ups such as Slack and HipChat.
"When it comes to enterprise solutions and real enterprise collaboration, you're starting to see an explosion of companies," said Rick Yang, a partner at venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.
"Facebook, I think, has the resources and the scale now to try to address some of these shortcomings of some of these newer start-ups that are attacking the enterprise space," he said. "When you move from the consumer-use case to the enterprise-use case, there's a ton of different things to think about. You really think about privacy, you think about security."
Facebook at Work's features are much the same as regular Facebook, which many people are already using at work, if not for it.
It's that sort of familiarity that may give Facebook an edge over competitors when it finally enters the market on a large scale. It's also a trusted brand when it comes to security, which is particularly important to companies deploying software to manage key operations.
"Facebook at Work is a simple way for employees to work together and share ideas, and we are proud to be working with Club Med to truly connect all their employees across the globe, regardless of time zones, languages and devices," Julien Codorniou, director of global platform partnerships at Facebook, said in a press release.
Facebook at Work will be available to any business at an as yet unspecified date in 2016.