Chatter.com Social Network Allows Private Staff Talk
Businesses can set up a private social network where their employees can collaborate and share files online, following the public launch of Chatter.com.
Using a similar format to Twitter and Facebook, the Chatter social media platform, created by Salesforce, allows employees who share a common email domain to create a network, publish profile pages, and “follow” documents and people. They can also share status updates and real-time online conversations.
To use Chatter, users have to register their company email address for free on the website.
“On Chatter, employees can add profiles, follow people and groups, and find items that are being shared – such as information on invoices, projects or other documents,”
said Salesforce product marketing manager, Xabier Ormazabal.
“They can also choose to be notified when changes are made or see what comments people are adding to them. It allows people to stay on top of things and have real-time discussions instead of logging into their email, and so helps productivity.”
IT expert, blogger, and director of Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Phil Szomszor, said that Chatter’s strength is allowing businesses to create a confidential social network that reduces the risk of employees damaging the firm’s reputation.
“It reduces the risk of people saying things that they shouldn’t in the public domain – whether this is business data, or pictures from last night’s office party,” he said.
“Chatter reminds me of a more powerful version of Yammer, which was launched last year and was essentially a private Twitter-clone. My main concern with Yammer was about the security of the data. I wouldn’t want to have a load of confidential conversations accidentally leaked by a third party that I didn’t have a business relationship with.”
However, Szomszor said that in reality the Chatter network was unlikely to be popular with employees.
“Employees might be concerned about whether what they’re saying is private or their boss can see it. At the end of the day, people will still use Facebook for personal stuff and LinkedIn for business – at least with those they won’t feel that big brother is watching their chats.”