Programmatic Lunch

Facebook Preps Work-Based Social Network

Tim Maytom

facebook searchFacebook is working on a new work-based social network that will aim to rival LinkedIn, enabling users to keep their personal and professional profiles separate, while giving them access to collaborative working tools.

The project, which is currently called 'Facebook at Work', will mirror Facebook's existing design, but will focus on enabling users to chat with colleagues, connect with work contacts and seamlessly integrate documents that can be worked on by multiple users.

The project, which was reported by the Financial Times, would look to mirror how Facebook employees already use the site as part of their day-to-day work, and has been discussed internally for a considerable time, with work beginning last year, and tests with selected companies on the horizon.

In order to become truly integrated into corporate life, Facebook faces two large hurdles. Firstly, it needs to establish security, as companies will expect to be able to share confidential information and engage in private conversations without the risk of leaks or hacking. Secondly, it will need to assuage any fears about losses in productivity, with many employers already banning Facebook's existing site due to worries about lost work time.

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