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Zuckerberg readies Facebook at Work business network

Facebook is gunning for the turf of the likes of LinkedIn, with the social network apparently developing a version of its service specifically tailored for the business world.

The “Facebook at Work” project will allow for employees to have a separate work profile, distinct from their personal (normal Facebook) profile, to enable them to befriend work contacts, chat with colleagues and do more besides. Document collaboration is planned, which will also tread on the toes of the likes of Google Drive and Redmond’s Office.

This is all according to sources who spoke to the Financial Times, who said that the work network would pretty much keep the same aesthetics and layout as the main Facebook – it would be silly to do anything else given the user base’s familiarity with the existing scheme of things, mind you. A work profile page will still be organised with a newsfeed, groups and so forth, but with added collaboration features as mentioned.

Facebook is already using the site internally, and has been for some time the FT says, but the project is now being tested out by other organisations as its release time is apparently now “approaching”.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of an enterprise version of Facebook, as TechCrunch reported on the concept earlier this year (in June). We won’t have to wait long to see the finished product, if what the FT thinks is correct, anyway.

Of course, if Zuckerberg thought he had trouble persuading his current customers that he isn’t working bad privacy mojo via his network, he’ll have a whole other world of a challenge when it comes to sensitive enterprise data.

Facebook is certainly doing all it can to improve its image in this regard, though, and recently promised to “push back hard” when hit by overly broad data requests from government agencies.