Facebook's product for businesses, Workplace, is taking a step to distance itself from the social network after a string of scandals
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- Facebook's Slack competitor, Workplace by Facebook, will soon be making a change that underscores how separate it is from Facebook.
- Workplace will be changing its web URL from "work.facebook.com" to simply "workplace.com".
- Facebook said the change was in the works for a while, but an executive also said the move was also about convincing IT professionals to "trust" Workplace.
- Facebook has had a very scandal-filled year: Just recently, it announced that 50 million users were impacted by a data breach. That breach affected some early Workplace users, as well.
Facebook's social network for businesses, Workplace by Facebook, will soon be making a change that underscores how separate it is from the rest of the social network. Specifically, Workplace will be changing its web URL from "work.facebook.com" to simply "workplace.com".
Workplace is Facebook's competitor to rivals like fast-growing startup Slack and Microsoft Teams, and is used by companies like Walmart, Spotify and Domino's Pizza.
A Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider that plans to change the URL predates Facebook's admission last month that it found a security hole that affected as many as 50 million Facebook users.
"As part of Workplace's brand evolution we are migrating to our own domain. This move has been in the works for nearly a year and we are planning to migrate customers to Workplace.com in 2019," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Still, between the hole that risked 50 million users' data, and the continuing fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has lost some face when it comes to trusting the company's stewardship of personal information.
And Workplace product manager Luke Taylor, told CNBC's Salvador Rodriguez that "This is something that we want to do from a brand point of view, but also something that I think gives our customers more trust in the product itself."
Convincing IT professionals to trust the security of an app is table stakes for any company hoping to host that business's data. And Facebook's massive breach had a detrimental effect on Workplace, as well. As Business Insider previously reported, when Facebook announced that hole, it reached out to a small number of early Workplace users to warn them of a possibility that some of their data might have been exposed as well.
To say that such a thing is not good is an understatement. IT professionals are often paranoid about security, and rightly so. It's their job to keep their corporate IT systems safe. And the Workplace by Facebook team knows it. Workplace has been using "security" as part of its sales pitch, promising businesses on its promotional materials that Facebook is "serious about security. We're proud to exceed the industry standard for protecting your data."
Workplace by Facebook is not yet going so far as to drop the words "by Facebook" from its official brand name. Telling customers about the new URL is intended to reassure its paying customers that Workplace's data is walled off from the social network data, while giving them time, should they need it, to adjust their own systems and internal documents to reflect the new web address.
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