Today, GovInsider announced that the Singapore Government has become the “first civil service in the world to adopt Facebook Workplace, the professional version of the social network”.
Announced by Peter Ong, Head of the Civil Service at the PS21 ExCEL Convention, he mentions that Workplace will be used by all 143,000 or so public service officers by March 2017. This is following the success of phase one (launched in October), which saw the network being used by 15 agencies and over 5,300 public officers.
Workplace comes as a change from custom-built social network, Cube, which was launched in 2013. Unfortunately, the network was riddled with problems such as lack of support on smartphones, an unfamiliar interface, and slow loading times.
Said Ong, “The team found that Cube did not quite take off as expected – it was not a failure, but neither was it a force to reckon with.”
As compared to Cube, Workplace would be accessible on smartphone and tablets without the need to connect to the government intranet.
With Workplace also acting as a new tool for announcements, the number of internal emails have also been reduced in phase 1 agencies.
Living up to the ‘social’ in its social network purposes, an “explosion of activities” have also been observed “in the first month of cross-government communities of practice built, and [also] better engagement between senior management and staff”.
Not just a platform for announcements, #ShareYourSkills, a pilot programme which aims to “build a marketplace to share specialist skills within the public service” has also been ongoing.
The pilot will run for six months.
As for take up rate among civil services, “82% of officers who have activated their accounts are now “active weekly users””, as compared to the 61% that its predecessor Cube was getting.