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Facebook debuts enterprise tool Workplace for ads-free chat
Scrolling down your Facebook News Feed while at the office can distract you from work and bring down your productivity. Aware of this drawback, Facebook has launched Workplace, a collaborative enterprise tool designed to provide an environment for productive discussion.
Workplace evolved from months of private beta testing under the name Facebook at Work, which was launched in January 2015. Facebook claims there are now 1,000 companies from across the globe that have been using the beta version, with more than 100,000 groups created on the social platform. Therefore, the launch of Workplace is a natural move to grow its user base. Workplace is now publicly available to private companies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations.
We’ve been amazed by the breadth of organizations who’ve embraced Workplace – from a shipping company that can now connect with their ship crews using Live video, to a bank that now uses Workplace instead of fax machines and newsletters to share updates with its distributed bank branches.
Facebook officially introduced Workplace in London, with premium features including live video streaming, single-sign on support, and unlimited media storage. The tool also integrates with G Suite, Okta, OneLogin, Ping, and Windows Azure AD. As a premium tool, Workplace sets clients back between $1 and $3 per user every month, depending on the number of active users. For educational institutions and nonprofits, it will be offered free of charge.
To dispel worries that the social platform might hamper productivity at the workplace, Facebook designed the tool to separate a Workplace account from the user’s personal Facebook account. Workplace also comes with a separate Work Chat app that’s available for download on iOS and Android devices.
Workplace does not deviate much from the core Facebook app: users can post about their work, subscribe to a colleague’s updates, create groups to discuss projects or watch a live broadcast by a company executive.
There’s also a shared space feature, called Multi-Company Groups, that lets users connect with individuals from other companies. The Multi-Company Groups feature will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
It will be interesting to see how Workplace competes with other premium collaboration tools like Slack, Jive and Yammer. If Workplace sounds interesting to you, sign up for a free three-month trial by clicking the link below. Then let us know in the comments your impression of the tool.