Many companies block employees from accessing Facebook on work computers, but this could change in the near future. In a move aimed at driving business users to the world's most popular social networking service, Facebook is developing a new website that will allow users to chat with colleagues, connect with contacts, and collaborate on documents.
Dubbed Facebook for Work, the new site is expected to be visually similar to Facebook, with a newsfeed and groups, but will allow users to keep their personal information separate from their work profile. Some of the engineers developing the service are based in London, the Financial Times report says.
Although Facebook hasn't yet commented on the leak, the report says that company employees have been using the new service in their daily work for a while now, and some outside companies are also testing it, suggesting that you might not have to wait long before it launches publicly.
Facebook's new product is set to compete directly with LinkedIn, the social network for professionals with around 90 million active monthly users, as well as Google's and Microsoft's email, chat, and cloud storage offerings.
Earlier this year, TechCrunch also reported that Facebook is building an enterprise version of its social networking service. “We are making work more fun and efficient by building an at-work version of Facebook”, a source had told the publication back then. “We will touch code throughout the stack and on all platforms (web, iOS, Android, etc)”.
Founded in 2004, Facebook now has over 1.35 billion monthly active users. The company recently updated its terms of service, data use policy, as well as cookies policy to make them easier for users to comprehend.