Ping, Twitter, Social Media & Admin Privileges

BeyondTrust, November 15th, 2010

The other day Twitter introduced some new features that integrates with Apple’s Ping to help users share music through Twitter, which sparked some renewed conversation about social media in the workplace.

What’s particularly interesting is that unlike purely online social media sites like Twitter or Facebook, Ping requires you to have iTunes installed in order to access the features of the social network. This means desktop users at corporations that don’t install iTunes by default and have removed administrative privileges, may also be inadvertently blocking users from being on Ping at the workplace.

Certainly there’s a lot of different points of view on social media in the workplace. Employees can create difficult political situations at work or even leak intellectual property by blogging about work, and a recent study suggests that employees check their social media “inboxes” with a high level of regularity while at work. Alternatively, some argue that social media can boost productivity, help employees share ideas and become more highly networked.

Either way, the company needs to make a choice on what works best for them, and what’s happened now that this particular social media platform has made some off-line computer requirements creates inadvertent blocking. Are some workers more productive if they can listen and share music while they’re working? Would blocking it be bad for morale? It depends.

In order to implement choices in social media policies, companies may have to start looking out for applications they need to whitelist or blacklist in order to enforce those policies. Additionally, do we trust the security of these applications?