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Facebook is finally getting into the office game. According to multiple reports, on Wednesday morning the company launched a pilot of its long-rumored Facebook at Work product, an application that aims to compete against the likes of Yammer and Slack.
[company]Facebook[/company] at Work does exactly what it sounds like. It doesn’t connect to your personal profile. Instead, companies sign up their employees, forming a closed social network with familiar functions like news feeds and profiles. Facebook at Work will have its own separate iOS and Android apps, which Facebook put in the app store today. Most people won’t be able to download it, though, since the company limited its trial run to select companies.
The application may be too little too late, given that enterprise social networking companies have existed for years. The popular Slack is the latest entrant and was able to make headway in the market because existing products were too buggy or didn’t offer enough group chat functionality. Facebook might also struggle to convince people it’s a serious product that belongs in an office and not just a socializing app for personal use.
Conversely, companies that don’t already use a communication application might sign up for Facebook at Work due to their familiarity with the Facebook brand.
A spokesperson told Re/code that there are no ads in Facebook at Work and the pilot group of companies is using the service for free, so it’s not clear how Facebook intends to make money off the product.