Facebook@Work reports hint at move into enterprise social

Facebook is reportedly developing a workplace-friendly version of the social networking site.

An anonymous source told TechCrunch that an offering dubbed FB@Work is in development that aims to encourage and legitimise the use of the site's services in the workplace.

FB@Work is said to be under development within its London office, and will work across a variety of mobile platforms.

"We are making work more fun and efficient by building an at-work version of Facebook," the source said.

"We will touch code throughout the stack and on all platforms (web, iOS, Android, etc)."

At present, it's unclear if Facebook is planning to go head-to-head with the likes of Yammer and VMware's SocialCast by launching its own business-focused social collaboration platform or if Facebook@Work might end up offering a more LinkedIn-type service.

Facebook has declined to comment on the report, on the grounds that it doesn't respond to matters of speculation.

The social networking giant is often credited with kick-starting the enterprise social trend, as a slew of tools and services have emerged in recent years with Facebook-like features to boost business collaboration.

Therefore, a move into workplace collaboration space could prove a savvy move for the firm, as its brand name and social pedigree could encourage business users that are yet to adopt enterprise social tools to dip their toes in the water.

That being said, during the grand unveiling of Facebook's Graph Search feature last year, the firm's CEO Marc Zuckerberg talked up how its enhanced functionality could be used to help companies recruit new staff or publicise their business interests. So a more formalised push into this area could be on the cards.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.