Facebook is having a dramatic impact on the way companies design graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for business users. At Oracle OpenWorld, both Oracle and Salesforce.com showed new screen designs that borrowed openly from the Facebook. The result is an easy-to-use, information rich tool with constant refresh and excellent collaboration.
"Facebook changes how we collaborate in our personal lives," said Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce.com. "We will show you how to bring it into the enterprise."
At OpenWorld, Salesforce.com was showing off its relatively new enhancement, Chatter, which looks a lot like Facebook. Since Chatter was launched two and a half months ago, it has been rolled out in 25,000 companies, a good percentage of Salesforce.com's 83,000 customers. Customers have found an increase in collaboration, improvements in sales and a rise in productivity because users spend less time hunting for information or the right people to connect to. It has also reduce the use of email. Adoption is fast with little if any training. After all, Benioff said, Facebook has taught half a billion people how to use the application.
When Twitter first launched a few years ago, not many users knew what to do with it. It seems there were many tweets of the "Just ate lunch, about to sip my coffee" variety. People who got Twitter and had the time to devote to the microblogging service quickly started building followers, retweeting, and making the most of it. Everyone else was left tweeting about what they might have for dinner.