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The company is secretly working on the software, which will allow users to chat with colleagues, connect with contacts and collaborate on documents, according to the Financial Times.

The site will be visually similar to Facebook, with a newsfeed and groups, but users will be able to keep their personal profile private.

The launch of such a site would place Facebook in direct competition with professional social network LinkedIn and Google’s range of online collaboration applications.

The concept of Facebook at Work was first reported by TechCrunch earlier this year, who revealed that the project is being developed by employees in London.

“We are making work more fun and efficient by building an at-work version of Facebook,” a source told the technology website at the time.

“We will touch code throughout the stack and on all platforms (web, iOS, Android, etc.).”

It is not known when the professional site will launch, but it will reportedly be free – at least initially.

Facebook, which is currently in talks with the satellite operator Avanti over a ground-breaking project to provide free internet access across swathes of Africa, has 1.35bn users.

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Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/11234961/Facebook-at-Work-firm-set-to-launch-office-chat-system.html