Facebook at Work soft launches on App Store, Skype for iPhone gains quick conversations

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Facebook on Wednesday debuted in limited release a new iOS application allowing employers to let their workers connect and communicate with one another. And Microsoft launched an updated version of Skype for iPhone, making it easy to quickly start a conversation.

Facebook at Work debuts in limited beta

Facebook's new dedicated iOS application, dubbed "Work," will allow businesses to create their own, private social networks to be utilized by employees. The new service, first detailed by TechCrunch, will look and act like Facebook, but employers will be able to create and control accounts, and users will then be able to link their work and personal accounts together to be logged in at the same time.

On mobile devices, the regular Facebook application and Facebook at Work will remain separate. Content will stay entirely within personal or work Facebook accounts with no crossover.

Regular users can't yet download Facebook at Work for iOS, as it's in a limited beta trial. The current test run is said to be aimed at companies with 100 or more employees.

For now, Facebook at Work will be a free service, though that could change in the future, whether the social networking company decides to charge for accounts or to add advertising.

Skype 5.9 for iPhone lets users start conversations more quickly

Skype for iPhone was updated on Wednesday to version 5.9, bringing user interface improvements to both the dial pad and new chat picker. According to Microsoft, these changes will allow users to start chatting with friends and family more quickly and easily.

After updating, users can simply tap the new chat icon and choose who to talk to in order to begin a conversation. From here, a phone or video call can be easily initiated.

Skype 5.9 for iPhone also searches for Skype contacts as a phone number is entered in the dialer.

Microsoft is also looking for users to enter its pre-release program to test early versions of Skype and provide regular feedback. Applicants must be over 18, have a valid email address and Skype account or Microsoft account.