Since 2002, social networks are spreading worldwide thanks to the growth of the Internet. More and more people are using social applications like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Wikipedia... seeking, sharing and discussing information has become a way of life to them.
By adding a new social layer to Sharepoint 2010, Microsoft is embracing this new trend in user behavior. These new collaboration and communication tools are the missing pieces in the Sharepoint puzzle and will help many companies to increased information sharing to make communication easier.
Nowadays, and particularly in medium/big enterprise, workers need more and more information : Find knowledge, use content and share ideas.
With SharePoint 2010 they can now build a network, easily work in teams, feel valued and know who's the holder of the information they need : no more e-mails and phone calls asking for "who is in charge of this?".
For a company with coworkers around the world, this is the sociable link you've been waiting for. It will help your enterprise to lower the cost of sharing and organizing knowledge and at the same time increase employee engagement. Via the network and common interests, they will get to know each other and share information more easily. As a result, productivity increases and costs are reduced.
Never the less, keep in mind that one size doesn't fit all. Social: yes, but it needs to be designed to fit the needs of each company depending on several factors: Hierarchy, Culture, Policies, Demographics, etc....
Some major companies such as Electronic Arts and Accenture have already implemented Sharepoint 2010 with success. If you're interested in learning more you can find the examples on the Microsoft Success Stories website.