Facebook Inc is on track to launch Facebook at work, its social network variant focused on work place productivity. LinkedIn Corp stock was surprisingly flat in the wake of the announcement, despite the competition it promises, and an otherwise brutal day across Wall Street.
Facebook says that its new platform will mostly overlap with the familiar experience of the social network. there are some notable exceptions, however, online games won’t work through the professional version of the platform, and other changes have been made in order to allow working through Facebook.
Facebook aims for LinkedIn
Facebook at Work profiles will be distinct from those used on an ordinary Facebook account, and the firm says it will roll out the service to all users in a matter of months. In January 2015 Facebook began to allow people to join Facebook at Work through an invite-only beta program. Right now more than 300 firms, including giants like Heineken are using the professional version of the social network.
Facebook Inc plans to monetize its professional social network in a number of ways, the first being a fee charged for access to premium features. LinkedIn Corp monetizes its content in that way, but the firm’s access to millions of employee resumes also makes it an invaluable tool to recruiters and HR departments.
There’s not a whole lot of information out there on what exactly Facebook at work can offer to firms that LinkedIn can’t, but the service is young and Facebook seems committed to improving it.
LinkedIn stock stays steady
Despite the volley fired, LinkedIn Corp stock was selling for $232.26 at time of writing, up 0.07 percent for the morning so far. At the same time Wall Street as a whole, measured by the S&P 500, was down by 1.69 percent, while shares in Facebook Inc slid by more than 2 percent.
Facebook at work has been a long time coming, but traders don’t seem all that worried about the impact the new product might have on LinkedIn. Shares in the firm are up by more than one percent for the full year so far, and have been trading higher since the end of October than at any time since the start of May this year.
It’s not clear if the launch of Facebook at Work will have a direct effect on take-up at LinkedIn Corp, but traders don’t appear to be pricing risks of a collapse of user base into the firm’s shares. LinkedIn stock trades at an incalculable multiple because the firm didn’t manage to make a profit in its last fiscal year.
Facebook has the financial resources and the skill to attack LinkeIn head on, but it’s not clear exactly how popular Facebook at Work is going to be. Despite the workplace-friendly features, the social network, drawing on its older platform for its brand, may be seen as too casual for the office.