Facebook is developing a new website that will allow the social networking giant to take on LinkedIn, a report from the Financial Times said Sunday. The new website, called “Facebook at Work,” is also expected to help the company compete with related products launched by Google and Microsoft.
The new website, which will look similar to Facebook.com, will allow users to chat with colleagues, connect with their professional contacts and collaborate over documents, much like the way Google Drive and Microsoft Office function, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The portal, which is reportedly being developed behind closed doors, will also allow users to keep their professional profiles separate from their personal ones.
The “Facebook at Work” website has long been used by the company’s employees, and is now being reportedly tested on workers at other companies closer to its launch. Facebook, which announced last week that marketers will now have to buy ads to post promotional messages on users’ news feeds, began work on the new project last year, with some of the engineers involved in developing the new service being based out of London, according to the Financial Times.
If “Facebook at Work” materializes, it will help the company, which currently has 1.35 billion active monthly users, to take market share from LinkedIn, the current leader in online business networking with 90 million active users each month.
The new Facebook website could also challenge Google’s Drive, email and chat services; and Microsoft’s Outlook email service, Office software and Yammer, the corporate social network the company bought for $1.2 billion in 2012, according to the Financial Times report.