Facebook’s big launch today - something useful for business?

Facebook is set to launch an important product or service today, but businesses have been left wondering if there is anything relevant to them.

Last week Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive, said the social networking site will launch “something awesome” today.

There have been hints that the launch will enhance Facebook’s smartphone and tablet interface. But it is not clear whether Facebook will deliver business grade applications or offer business-level security.

If Facebook rolls out another consumer offering, such as better photo or video sharing, corporate IT users could end up frustrated and fearful about any additional strain it puts on their infrastructure.

One thing Facebook is known to be working on is an HTML5-based development platform, dubbed Project Spartan. The driver for Project Spartan is to enable changes to be quickly rolled out and working across multiple browsers and devices. The launch date has been unclear.

Another eagerly anticipated Facebook initiative is the launch a new iPad app, a move likely to please staff working out on the road with the tablet, as well as a number of executives who now see the iPad as an essential device.

With video conferencing increasingly used for distance meetings, there could also be some benefit in the rumoured launch of a Facebook partnership with Skype on video chat. A partnership could allow easy Skype access for business staff that use Facebook as a standard channel of communication with colleagues, customers and sales prospects.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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