Facebook wants to become your office's social network. The company is said to be working on an official launch of Facebook at Work, an app that Facebook's employees currently use internally for collaboration and chat. The way Financial Times describes it, Facebook at Work sounds like it meshes document editing features from Google Docs and Microsoft Office. And yes, Facebook has witnessed and likely paid close attention to Slack's meteoric rise in the corporate world. But Facebook at Work reportedly isn't a knee-jerk reaction like Slingshot; this isn't some cobbled together clone app. The New York Times' Mike Isaac reports that Facebook has been working on and refining its office-focused platform for years. Isaac too expects to see a proper launch in the coming months, though no one's particularly sure of a firm release timeframe.
yes, FB@work is real yes, it’s probably coming in next few months but it aint new — been in the works for years, so not reaction to slack— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) November 17, 2014
But Slack's massive popularity and soaring valuation suggest this isn't a bad moment for Facebook to make a play. Facebook at Work will "look very much like Facebook" with the newsfeed and features you're used to, but will apparently put a barrier between your personal and professional identity. Facebook is already testing the tool with a few companies, according to the Financial Times report, and is "unlikely" to charge businesses any fees at launch — at least initially. Going free to start is probably necessary if Facebook has any hope of pushing into territory owned by Google, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. (Facebook at Work lets users connect with other professional contacts, much like the enterprise-focused social network.) We've reached out to the company for more details.