UPDATE 1-Salesforce offers Facebook-like tool to companies

 * Lets companies build internal social networks
 * Competes with products from IBM, privately held Ning
 * Can pull information from Facebook, Twitter
  BOSTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Software maker
Inc CRM.N unveiled a collaboration tool for businesses that
it said is similar to the popular social-networking site
 The product, unveiled on Wednesday, puts Salesforce on the
heels of Facebook, one of the world's fastest-growing Internet
companies whose social networking site has taken off over the
past two years.
 IBM IBM.N and privately held Ning and a handful of other
companies already offer products that let employees share
information about themselves with each other through closed
corporate websites. Yet such tools have yet to gain the
traction with businesses that Facebook has with consumers.
 "Why do I know more about strangers on Facebook than my own
employees?" Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff said in a
 He said that he hoped the web-based product, dubbed
Salesforce Chatter, would be available early next year.
 Much of Salesforce Chatter's functionality will be similar
to that of Facebook. For example, it will allow employees to
set up profiles with contact information, areas of expertise,
work histories and photos. They will also be able to pull in
feeds from Twitter and Facebook.
 Shares of San Francisco-based Salesforce, which had fallen
after the company reported disappointing earnings late Tuesday,
were down 3.4 percent at $63.41 on the New York Stock Exchange
on Wednesday afternoon.
 (Reporting by Jim Finkle, editing by Matthew Lewis)