As Facebook reaches saturation point in many developed markets, they need a way to generate traffic, particularly during the ‘normal’ working hours as many employees are actively discouraged from logging onto social networking sites while at work, with some companies even blocking access on the company network. Facebook are reportedly preparing to launch a business orientated version of their popular social networking site to get users engaging with the site during working hours.“Facebook at Work” will retain the same appearance as the consumer Facebook site that we are all used to. The new service will allow users to run two profiles at the same time, keeping their personal and professional interactions separate. The Financial Times reported that Facebook have been working on this concept behind the scenes for a year and are almost ready to trial the service with selected companies.
LinkedIn has proved extremely popular since its inception in 2003, with over 300 million users in 200 counties registered on the site. Other companies, such as Yammer and Slack, have launched to rival LinkedIn, however these have not succeeded in being as popular as a professional networking option. Facebook has an average of 864 million daily active users, meaning they have ready-made users for their new service.
It is believed that the new service will be free of charge initially, with revenue coming from advertising. It is likely that down the line Facebook will have a premium profile option, offering additional benefits and information for a monthly or yearly fee. LinkedIn currently offer a basic profile free of charge, but encourage users to upgrade to a premium account to make full use of what the website has to offer.
Could having a combined network for personal and professional use work, or should the two be kept completely independent of each other?