'Facebook at Work' looks to compete with Microsoft Office, others

Facebook could soon compete with Microsoft Office, LinkedIn and Google Drive on workplace collaboration tools, according to a company source who was not authorized to speak on the matter.

The toolset is called "Facebook at Work," and lets users communicate with their co-workers using the social network’s traditional tools, such as news feed, messaging and groups, the source said. The product would also allow users to keep their personal Facebook profiles separate from work accounts.

While little is publicly known about the features of Facebook at Work, analysts say if the platform can be used as an online business networking tool and allow users to collaborate on a range of document types, it could compete directly with services such as Microsoft Office, LinkedIn and Google Drive.

It could also take market share from companies such as LinkedIn, which currently has 90 million monthly active users. Facebook, in comparison, currently has 1.35 billion monthly active users.

Rob Koplowitz, an analyst at firm Forrester Research, said companies such as Microsoft, Google and IBM, which currently sell products to enterprises, will certainly take notice of Facebook at Work when it launches, especially if it can offer something that existing products can’t.

“I think that blurring the lines between employees and customers might be that value proposition,” Koplowitz said.

Facebook declined to comment for this article, and LinkedIn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Twitter: @traceylien

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