What if copying everyone in on that important presentation was as easy as sharing a holiday snap? Or closing a million-pound deal was as simple as adding a new friend on Facebook? That’s the idea behind Facebook at Work – or at least, that’s what industry insiders are saying.

Love it or hate it, Facebook is part of our lives, helping over 1.35 billion users stay in touch, share photos and brag about their new cars. So why not use this familiar system at work, too?

Reportedly already in use at Facebook HQ, Facebook at Work provides a welcome alternative to email – enabling users to keep their personal and professional contacts separate, with only certain information available to each group. Communication is simple and intuitive, with the option to create specific groups for each team or project. And you can also share documents easily, just by selecting individuals or groups.

It could well be the future of workplace communications. But Facebook at Work’s success hinges on one key issue: privacy. From automatic face recognition to data mining, it’s a problem that’s hounded the social network for years. So if there’s any lack of security, it could begin to look like a risky choice for businesses.

Only time will tell. However, the first shots have already been fired, with LinkedIn’s share price dropping by 4.3%. And it looks like the battle is only going to get more intense from here on in.