Social Networking Becomes a Business Tool
It wasn't exactly brand new, but Chatter signaled that social networking for business had arrived. The application brought the standard social networking components into a business context. Users will be able to use the application to create profiles that go into company directories. They'll be able to post status updates, just as you would on Facebook or MySpace, though these updates are meant to be about work — literal updates on the status of a project, for example. Users will be able to use the app to form project groups.
And it will even integrate with popular social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, as the company puts it, “to form stronger connections with customers, prospects, and colleagues.”
Chatter is an example of something called an “internal social media platform,” which allows companies to take advantage of the collaboration potential of a social network. Companies like Jive, blueKiwi, Remindo, and even Microsoft's SharePoint support these kinds of services. NASA has one called “Spacebook.” And others are beginning to appear.
Company blogs have been around for a while, but the enterprise (what techies call companies and corporations) is likely to at least take newly emerging internal microblogging services for a test drive. A company called Yammer, for example, specializes in providing “enterprise microblogging.”