In the coming months, Facebook’s professional version, Facebook at Work, is expected to launch after spending a year in tests. This new service, geared towards workplace collaboration, is nearly the same as Facebook itself, with “likes”, a scrolling news feed and live chat. However, Facebook at Work users will maintain profiles that are distinct from their existing Facebook profiles. They’re also developing exclusive products for the new Facebook, including security tools.
Facebook started beta-testing the service in January, and so far has kept it as a free “invite-only” service for companies. It will be open to all companies once it’s launches, and Facebook plan on charging a fee for premium services such as analytics and customer support. The online career market, which includes LinkedIn and Monster, is worth about $6 billion a year. More than 300 companies are currently using Facebook at Work, and the French resort company Mediterranee SA is set to be the latest adopter.
According to Facebook’s director of global platform partnerships, Julien Codorniou, almost everything on Facebook at Work is the same as regular Facebook, except for a few differences; there are most likely going to be less chances to play games like Candy Crush.
How Facebook at Work is going to work remains to be seen. For one, maintaining one Facebook profile is difficult enough for a lot of people. And often-times, the original function of a platform changes with how people decide to use it. There’s a distinct possibility that Facebook at Work could serve as much of a distraction as Facebook itself.