Unbeknownst to most, Microsoft has a social network, called—cleverly enough—Soc.l, but it can’t compete on the scale of a Facebook, or even a LinkedIn, for that matter. Perhaps that’s why Microsoft is in negotiations to pay $1 billion for Yammer, a business-to-business service that provides social networks within companies and groups. The sticker price is hefty since more than 200,000 companies such as Ford use Yammer as a sort of internal Facebook.

The acquisition could very well help Microsoft continue towards catering to niche markets in the social network space or even build up its infrastructure for a bigger play down the road.

[via Bloomberg]