Microsoft won the battle to invest in Facebook. According to the New York Times, They agreed to pay $240 million for a 1.6% stake in the company . That places the value of Facebook at $15 billion.
Microsoft's SharePoint Products and Technologies Team has been working up their own take on SharePoint as a social network tool. According to the Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog, Eric Charran (Senior Consultant in Microsoft Consulting Services), Dino Dato-on (SharePoint Ranger), and Greg Lang (Program Manager for Microsoft Enterprise Services Communities Tools and Infrastructure) have written a soon to be published white paper that addresses the importance of social networking in an organization and how to properly implement SharePoint's MOSS 2007 as a social networking solution.
There is an except on the website: Enabling and managing social networks (for business use) with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
One of the reasons I have been using Facebook is to see what pieces of its functionalities would add value inside the enterprise. We have a great photobook application, but it gives an incomplete and relatively static snapshot of information about the person. It should be relatively easy to pull in additional information about the person, like what matters they have worked on.
I wonder if we should be developing our own custom application or leveraging the tools that come with SharePoint. The My Sites functionality in SharePoint looks like it could be a useful platform for pulling in more information about the people inside the firm.
I assume that Microsoft is already working on an enterprise Facebook. It just seems like an obvious tool for them to develop. My guess is that SharePoint will give them the platform to do it.