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November 17, 2014

Facebook to Show its Professional Side With New Network

Facebook at Work Would Enable Users to Stay in Contact With Colleagues and Collaborate With Co-Workers

Credit: Matt Harnack / Facebook

Facebook is building a new network for professionals, in a challenge to LinkedIn, according to a new report.

Dubbed Facebook at Work, the site will include a News Feed and groups, just like Facebook, but it will also enable its users to stay in touch with professional contacts and work together online with colleagues, the Financial Times is reporting.

Facebook at Work — which is, reportedly, already being used internally at Facebook — would be kept completely separate from the social network, meaning a user’s profile and pictures on the friends and family site would not be visible on the professional network.

Facebook has yet to confirm the new network’s existence, but the company has promised to comment on the matter “soon.”

Facebook at Work’s main competitor will, of course, be LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Web, boasting 332 million users in more than 200 countries.

Facebook already has a mammoth user base — 1.35 billion monthly active users a month as of September. If the social network can convince its members Facebook at Work will benefit them in their professional lives, it could well be a challenger to LinkedIn and others.

Google Drive and Microsoft Office could also be challenged when it comes to co-workers collaborating on projects and documents. Much like Google’s and Microsoft’s services, Facebook at Work, reportedly, will give a number of co-workers the ability to access the same documents so each person can make changes or add updates.

Cass Business School professor Andre Spicer told the BBC that while such a network would be beneficial to companies, it would also have its drawbacks.

“It is unlikely to make employees more productive, but it will help them to be more connected and aware,” Spicer said. “Social media sites like Facebook help employees to build ‘weak ties’. These are people we would talk to infrequently and don’t know intimately. These weak ties are often a source of important background information.”

That said, Spicer indicated the network could also make it “easier for employees to accidentally leak sensitive information.”


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.