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LONDON (Reuters) – will offer mobile versions of its Chatter tool for social networking inside companies from later this year as it seeks to make its software more ubiquitous and its customers more productive.

The company, which pioneered the delivery of software as a service to companies over the Web, said on Wednesday Chatter Mobile would be available from later this year for Apple devices and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry.

Chatter, a kind of Facebook for the enterprise, allows company employees to create and share profiles, update their status and subscribe to news feeds about their contacts and subjects they are interested in.

About a quarter of Salesforce’s customers have signed up for the free service since it became generally available in June.

A Chatter application — smoother than accessing the service over the Web from a mobile — will also be available for devices based on Google’s Android operating system such as the HTC Magic or Motorola Droid early next year.

Scott Holden, director of product marketing at Salesforce, said mobile business applications were increasingly important. "I wouldn’t be surprised to see mobile lead the space in business apps," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Holden said Salesforce had no current plans to offer a Chatter Mobile version for Nokia devices, although that could change in future. "We follow where the people are," he said.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Holmes)