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Is Facebook Developing An Enterprise Product?

Facebook Developing, Going by the industry sources, the buzz around Facebook developing and testing a new version of Facebook termed Facebook at work to be used at the workplace seems to be gaining some ground. According to some anonymous sources speaking with a leading daily, this new service will be completely separate from the Facebook being used currently by the consumers. The product under development will allow users to interact with their colleagues, collaborate on work and connect with others present in their professional network.

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However, Facebook declined to confirm the speculations. But even if the company is building such a product, it will be facing tough competition among several big-name rivals such as Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, Box, and LinkedIn who have been dominating this field for a long.

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For the past few years, the level of competition has been constantly rising in Silicon Valley as major tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook which are already market leaders in their respective fields are consistently fighting in order to get an even bigger share of the pie. In order to accomplish it, they have already started to encroach on others’ turf. For instance, Google wanted to have a share of the social networking industry so they started Google plus, Facebook wanted to be a player in search so they started Facebook graph search, while Amazon and Google are constantly battling out for supremacy in the eCommerce sector by offering same-day delivery.

Facebooks interest in workplace networking is just another addition to the list of competitive expansions done in the past. By providing a work-centric social networking platform with the ability to message their colleagues instantly, Facebook will be going up against the likes of Microsoft Yammer, Salesforces Chatter, and the currently popular messaging tool Slack. Also by offering a way to businesses to collaborate on documents, it will be competing simultaneously with Box, Dropbox, and Google Docs. And by providing a method to establish connections in the workplace, it will also become a major challenger for LinkedIn.

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It will be hard for Facebook to take on so many competitors at once and it will be even harder to predict how they plan to do it. The report from the leading daily has also mentioned that although the users would be able to maintain separate personal and work accounts, it will include Facebook staples, including News Feed and groups. The biggest challenge of them all will be for Facebook to convince various businesses that their conversations and internal documents would be kept confidential, as in the past Facebook has been known to tap into user databases for advertising purposes.

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But the new tool will make sense for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. As a consumer product, they would be competing with every other available app in the market to grab users’ attention which is already limited. But if Facebook successfully manages to become the engine running the workplace, then it will have a captive audience, making Facebook at Work even more appealing for the end-users i.e. advertisers.