Should you use Facebook at work? Soon you might have to as Zuckerberg said to be developing professional social network for the office

Lynsey Barber
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Facebook is said to be working on a new business product (source:Getty)

Companies usually frown on their workers spending the day on Facebook, but that could be about to change.

No longer will you have to hide your browser window when your boss walks past, as Facebook is said to be secretly creating “Facebook at Work”, a new enterprise product designed to aid communication and collaboration in the office.

The new website will include a "chatting with colleagues" feature, a professional profile and contacts network, as well as the ability to collaborate on documents with others, the FT reports.

Professional profiles on the new platform would remain separate from personal profiles however, according to the reports, but the two sites are said to look similar with newsfeed and groups.

With the new website, Facebook would be challenging the likes of LinkedIn in the arena of professional social networking, and Microsoft's Yammer for workplace chat. It would also compete with Google in terms of workplace document collaboration.

Facebook would also be competing with a startup business app recently valued at $1bn that has gained huge popularity in a short space of time. Slack offers the same type of communication and collaboration by pulling together different services such as Google Apps, Dropbox and Twitter together in one place.

Founded by Stewart Butterfield, who previously helped found photo site Flickr, it's used by a host of high profile companies from Buzzfeed and HBO to Dell and Sony, and has been hailed as an “email killer”.

With competition from established firms and startups, Facebook may find it tough to break into the enterprise market, however the ubiquity and familiarity of Facebook should help it gain a thumbs up from employees - not least because it will make it easier to share cat videos without your boss noticing.

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