If you can't get through the work day without Facebook — but feel too guilty about checking your college roommate's status updates instead of answering client emails — there may be some good news on the way. According to The Financial Times, Facebook is creating Facebook at Work, an independent social media platform that allows users to do everything you can on normal Facebook, except in the comfort of your own work chair. Consider it Facebook for business, not pleasure — though it won't necessarily be all work and no play.
Anonymous sources told The FT that the individual platform would connect users with their fellow colleagues and business associates. They would be able to friend colleagues and clients, chat with them — presumably through a system similar to Facebook messaging — and even collaborate on documents and projects online. If this platform sounds familiar, it's because it seems like it will be a mash-up of LinkedIn, Gmail and Google Drive, but with a dose of good old-fashioned Facebook-friending thrown in.
The FT added that Facebook at Work is set to look just like normal Facebook, with news feeds and groups, and will also allow users to keep their original Facebook pages. So, it'll be like the BlackBerry of the social media world.
Facebook has declined to comment on the platform to news outlets, so at the moment it's all very clandestine. However, it's clear that this will be Facebook's way to engage users in a productive manner during the work day, as well as entice those whose workplaces ban the social media platform on office computers.
As Wired notes, it's definitely not out of the realm of possibility that Facebook would be developing a more focused, business-oriented platform. Not only has the company grown from Mark Zuckerberg hanging out in his Harvard University dorm room to a global social networking phenomenon, but in this current Silicon Valley climate, every tech giant is trying to out-build and out-smart the other. If Facebook can create a more worthwhile, user-friendly platform for business than LinkedIn or Google, then why not?
Whatever Facebook does with its new work platform, the company knows it'll most likely have the edge. With more than one billion active users worldwide, you know that some of those users are clicking around the site at work. According to a 2012 survey conducted by Salary.com, nearly 70 percent of workers said they wasted time on the Internet while at work, with 41 percent of the time-wasters admitting Facebook was their go-to website. LinkedIn came in second, again proving it's Facebook's biggest competitor in this demographic.
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