Facebook finally rolls out Workplace; an enterprise-focused messaging and social networking platform that has been running as a beta program for 20 months now as Facebook at Work
Facebook Workplace users will be billed on a monthly active user metrics. Already, the platform has some 1,000 organization that have been using the platform for free while it was still in beta stage. Workplace is launching both as a desktop and mobile app, complete with News Feed, direct messaging Chat, Live Video, Translation features, Reactions, and video/voice calling feature.
In essence, it just like Facebook but tailored to the needs of individuals and companies’ staffs that want to stay in touch and/or coordinate their work seamlessly. The platform is already open for use to anyone; whether as an individual or as an organization.
How is Facebook Workplace different?
Facebook Workplace is actually late to the party. Already there are many other options for messaging and collaborative systems like Slack, Yammer, Chatter, Hipchat, Jive, Beekeeper, and Zinc among others.
Facebook wants to court a bigger market, not just the traditional corporate white-collar, behind-the-desk type of clients its competitors have been courting. With Workplace, Facebook is courting anybody and everybody who has ever wanted a collaborative system where they can achieve work together but remotely.
Facebook is looking to a wider global market of users who work serving customers, repair machines, or even roam about as they do their job. These are people who already use Facebook for social networking, but have somehow used it for collaborative remote working with each other.
Given Facebook at Work (as it was previously called) was first launched about one and a half years ago, Facebook has certainly taken its time before launching it. Julien Codorniou, the Director of Workplace, explained to TechCrunch the reasons to the delayed launch:
“We had to build this totally separate from Facebook, and we had to test and get all the possible certifications to be a SaaS vendor.”
The fact that Facebook Workplace is targeting the not so very traditional consumers of collaborative software was another reason for the delay.
“We wanted to see how it would work in very conservative industries and government agencies. We had to test the product in every possible geography and industry, especially the conservative ones. We feel we are ready for primetime now.”