A professional version called ''Facebook at Work'' would reportedly pit the social network against LinkedIn, Microsoft and Google. Fred Katayama reports.
Hoodie wearer Mark Zuckerberg's company is going professional. The Financial Times reports it's secretly working on a version of the social network aimed at the office called "Facebook at Work." It'll keep your professional profile separate from your personal one, so co-workers or future employers won't see that embarrassing shot of you plastered at a frat party. By connecting you with your professional contacts and informing them with your newsfeeds, this would butt Facebook against the professional network, LinkedIn. Facebook at Work would let you share and edit documents and chat with contacts, the FT says, so it would also face off against Google and Microsoft. Facebook shares up slightly on the news in early trading. Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft trading lower. Evercore Partners analyst Ken Sena: doesn't consider the workplace opportunity a reason to buy Facebook shares, saying, "Personal photo sharing and office email tend not to mix very well on a sustained basis. Sooner or later, something gets shared that wasn't intended. I'm sure Facebook has thought of that already, but I think the perception will be a hard one to overcome." If Facebook succeeds, many companies fearful of lost office productivity could lift their ban that prevents employees from using Facebook at work. And Zuckerberg may have to don a suit to court potential corporate clients.