Facebook at Work launches in test mode; $100+ targets arrive

|About: Facebook (FB)|By:, SA News Editor

Facebook at Work, first reported on by the FT in November, has been made available via app stores to select enterprise test partners. The platform looks a lot like standard Facebook (FB +0.4%) - it contains a news feed, messaging tools, and groups - and lets users log in with their regular Facebook accounts. But a user's professional data is completely split off from his/her personal data, and Facebook won't collect any of it.

Moreover, unlike LinkedIn (LNKD +0.1%), Facebook at Work is only focused (for now) on connecting with co-workers, thus arguably making it more of a rival to Jive Software (JIVE -0.3%), Salesforce's Chatter platform, and Microsoft's Yammer. LinkedIn and Jive both sold off following the November FT report.

With no ads being sold, corporate subscriptions are a potential revenue stream. Facebook can count on its giant, highly engaged user base to drive interest in Work. At the same time, it has to contend with corporate wariness towards Facebook, historically viewed by many of them as a productivity-killer.

Separately, Oppenheimer and Credit Suisse have respectively hiked their Facebook targets to $100 and $102. Oppenheimer expects a strong Q4 report on Jan. 28. "Checks suggest 4Q pricing +14% q/q and +21% y/y, with same-client spending +32% q/q and 33% y/y ... Organic reach is becoming more difficult, due to competition for newsfeed impressions ... We also see upside from increased video adoption."

Credit Suisse cites the potential of Facebook's mobile ad network, and argues "Street models are too conservative and underestimate the long-term monetization potential of upcoming new products."