Facebook Workplace takes on Slack, Microsoft - Mobile World Live

Facebook Workplace takes on Slack, Microsoft

11 OCT 2016

Facebook’s Workplace app, which was called Facebook at Work when the tech giant began testing it with select organisations over a year ago, is now open to all companies.

The new subscription product will go head to head with Slack, a popular enterprise app, as well as Microsoft, which is also reported to be working on a similar product called Skype Teams.

More than 1,000 organisations, including Oxfam, Starbucks and Booking.com, already use Workplace, which is currently most popular in India, the US, Norway, UK and France.

Along with features from Facebook’s core app, such as chat, news feed and groups, the app also offers a dashboard with analytics and integrations with single sign-on as well as identity providers that allow companies to integrate Workplace with their existing IT systems.

It is not, however, linked to personal Facebook accounts and news feeds will be limited to company-related announcements and communications.

Facebook is also set to roll out a new feature called Multi-Company Groups which will let employees from different organisations work together, as well as the Workplace Partner Program.

Through the initiative, a group of technology and professional service organisations such as Deloitte will work with Facebook to bring Workplace to more businesses.

“This means that companies will have more ways to access Workplace — by working with our teams directly or via our approved and trained partners,” the firm said in a blog post.

Pricing
Workplace is priced competitively, Facebook claimed, with companies only paying for employees actively using the product.

Firms will be charged a monthly fee of $3 per employee for the first 1,000 monthly active users, $2 a head from 1,001 to 10,000 users and $1 per worker after that.

In comparison, Slack offers a basic version of its product which is free, with an upgrade to Standard costing $6.97 per user per month, and the Plus version costing $12.50 per user per month.

Workplace will create a new revenue stream for Facebook, in addition to money it makes from selling ads for its core product.

“The new global and mobile workplace isn’t about closed-door meetings or keeping people separated by title, department or geography. Organisations are stronger and more productive when everyone comes together,” its blog said.

According to Reuters, Julien Codorniou, global head of Workplace, said the firm wants to “replace a lot of old technologies like internal emails, mailing lists, newsletters,” adding that “these are things that people want to get rid of.”

In April, Slack raised $200 million, valuing it at $3.8 billion, up from $2.8 billion in less than a year.

The company, which counts Harvard, LinkedIn, Dow Jones and Samsung among its clients, said it had 2.7 million daily active users and 800,000 paid users as of 1 April.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly working on Skype Teams, following a failed $8 billion bid for Slack.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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