“Facebook at work” isn’t a phrase that most managers, supervisors or business owners like to hear as it’s typically synonymous with a severe lack of productivity. Sure, some workplaces already use Facebook services like Messages and Groups to collaborate but let’s be honest – most employees log into the social network while on the clock for personal use.
That may soon be changing, however, if a rumor from TechCrunch pans out. According to an anonymous source, the social networking giant is building a version of Facebook specifically for the workplace. The majority of the development for “FB@Work” is taking place in London.
The full scope of the project, however, wasn’t revealed so it’s not clear if this is something along the lines of an internal enterprise communication platform or if it’ll be something similar to what LinkedIn offers. The former would be a new market for Facebook but it wouldn’t be an entirely new idea for the industry.
A few competitors immediately come to mind in this space. Freemium enterprise social network Yammer launched in 2008 and was later acquired by Microsoft in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Slack, meanwhile, debuted last August and offers a number of communication tools as well as integration with Google Docs, Dropbox,GitHub, Twitter and more.
HipChat is yet another alternative that allows users to create and participate in chat rooms and send one-on-one messages in a group-like format.
A spokesperson for Facebook said they don’t comment on rumor or speculation and have nothing to add at this point.