Get ready for Facebook at Work.
The social media behemoth is going to launch the business version of its consumer site in the next few months, according to an anonymous source interviewed by Reuters.
The professional version of Facebook will include tools to chat, build contact lists, share files and collaborate on documents—features designed to compete with Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft's professional products.
Facebook's London developers are piloting a beta version of the site with a small number of companies after working on the corporate interface for more than a year.
In its current form, Facebook is used by some companies as an internal communication and marketing platform, but it lacks the applications to make it a truly collaborative workplace tool like its rivals.
According to Reuters, users of the new interface will essentially maintain two separate profiles, one business and one personal account. And work activities will be off limits on the personal Facebook page.
Tapping into the corporate market would be a major step for Facebook, which is banned in many offices or labeled as a distraction. However, with its 1.35 billion monthly visitors, the social networking giant could overcome that reputation with a serious business product that leverages the appeal of its social side.
It remains to be seen how Facebook plans to make its professional version pay—scrolling ads on a business site probably wouldn't sit well with CIO's. And Google gives away its business collaboration tools, including its video conferencing app, Google Hangouts, and Google Drive, its workflow repository for document and file sharing.