Facebook is reportedly about to take on Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn in an effort to be a more integral part of your workday.
According to the Financial Times, Facebook has been working on Facebook at Work, an effort to have work-friendly chat, document collaboration and storage. Facebook at Work, which has turned up in rumors before, will look like Facebook with news feeds, but offer work and personal pages. Facebook's efforts sound similar to the way smartphones are dividing up into work and personal containers.
Multiple companies have been trying to reinvent collaboration, workflow and inboxes. Google recently launched Inbox, an app designed to cure email overload. Salesforce has had Chatter, a Facebook clone, for years. LinkedIn is a play at work. And Microsoft, Google and a host of others also offer what Facebook at Work will. IBM this week also has an event that will revamp collaboration and email in the enterprise.
What's in it for Facebook? A few thoughts:
Facebook needs to be a more integral part of the workday to keep engagement levels high.
That work engagement will be critical since Facebook could be losing younger users over time.
The corporate market could be lucrative for Facebook---if only because a work friendly version would convince enterprises to unblock it.
Facebook already has a ton of personal data and connecting work personas could encroach on LinkedIn's business, court HR execs and improve ad rates.
Add it up and it seems like a no brainer that Facebook would have a work version. What's unclear is whether Facebook can do enough to overcome the "not another tool" issue.