Facebook trials 'Facebook at Work'
Social network hopes to increase its presence in the work place
Social networking company Facebook, yesterday launched a test of its new service "Facebook at Work".
According to the Guardian, Facebook at Work will use familiar Facebook features like the news feed, groups, messages and events, but has been designed purely for use within individual companies.
On the Facebook at Work help pages, it says: "Your work account is only visible to people at your company and is separate from your personal account. From your work account, you can still access things that are shared publicly on Facebook.
"When you set up your work account, you'll be able to connect it to your personal account. This lets you switch between the two accounts while using the same username and password for both. Your username and password aren't shared with your employer."
The test has been launched for "pilot partners" whose employees can download the Facebook at Work mobile app for iOS or Android and also use the website.
A report by TechCrunch in June 2014 suggested that "FB@Work" was being developed within Facebook's London office, inspired by the way Facebook's own staff used features like groups and messaging for their work.
According to online media, Facebook at Work is an attempt to expand the firm's presence within companies and other places of work, as in many offices Facebook is blocked from employees.
Facebook suggested one advantage it had over rival work communication tools was that people were already familiar with the way it worked, meaning firms could save on training costs. The software is designed to provide a way for users to communicate as an alternative to email and other intranet systems.
The executive in charge of Facebook at Work is the company's director of engineering Lars Rasmussen, who joined Facebook in 2010 from Google, where he played a key role in the launch of its Google Maps service.
For now, the Facebook at Work app is free-to-use, but limited to an unnamed group of companies that will trial its use.
At this stage the work version will not feature adverts, nor will it gather data about its users that could be sold on to third parties.