Companies around the world may soon be reevaluating their ‘no Facebook’ rule if a report from the Financial Times is to be believed.
It claims the social networking giant has been testing out a new version of Facebook designed especially for use in the workplace. According to the FT’s unnamed source, the new product lets co-workers chat with one another, as well as connect with business associates. Users would also be able to collaborate with each other on documents, suggesting Facebook’s seemingly ambitious plan has its sights set on not only LinkedIn, but also the likes of Google Drive and Microsoft Office.
The service, apparently called ‘Facebook at Work,’ looks similar to the current Facebook site used by 1.35 billion monthly users. However, despite the similarity, Facebook’s personal and business accounts will reportedly be kept entirely separate.
Workers at Facebook have been testing the service out for the last year or so, with a number of trusted firms also putting it through its paces more recently, the FT said.
As its report pointed out, for Facebook at Work to be a hit, Mark Zuckerberg’s company will first have to convince firms that the service incorporates robust security measures, with private conversations between employees and clients, as well as confidential data, traveling throughout the network.
The expected service fits nicely with Facebook’s mission to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” and comes as the company searches for new expansion possibilities. Other plans for the company include helping to bring Internet connectivity to remote parts of the world by deploying a fleet of so-called Wi-Fi drones high in the Earth’s atmosphere, a move it hopes will ultimately bring more users to its own growing range of apps and services.
It’s believed Facebook at Work will be free to use – at least at the start – with revenue coming from advertising.