Countdown internal communications manager Daniel Chasemore said a trial had shown Workplace by Facebook could bring its 18,000 staff closer together. Facebook expects Workplace will help companies discover new ways of working and making faster decisions. Facebook also forged new partnerships with others like enterprise cloud company Box Inc., which allows Workplace users to share documents from their Box accounts. Many businesses have yet to use social tools for work, and employers commonly consider Facebook, and other social media services in general, to be distractions. Workplace was in use at Facebook, internally, for quite some time before the company began to test an external version.
Workplace, to start off, is a desktop website and mobile application that functions exactly like Facebook does conventionally.
As with the social network, you can create groups, post updates, tag people, share files and chat with multiple users at once.
“The one thing that I really think Facebook has going for them is that the feature set is proven to work on mobile devices really well and proven to work for people without training”, says Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, which advises companies on corporate learning strategies.
By comparison, Slack costs $6.67 per user per month and Hipchat is $2 per user per month.
Facebook didn’t charge for the service during the pilot phase, but now plans to levy a fee for every employee who uses the service at least once a month.
The priority for us is for everybody in the company to use the basic product and then we will explore other projects.
The U.S. and United Kingdom are the company’s largest market for Workplace, but Facebook hopes to expand into other areas like Africa and Asia. Multi-company groups are always secret groups that can be accessed on an invite-only basis. As stated in the Facebook press materials, “No organization is an island”. Employees can login separately from their personal Facebook account to see what’s happening within their teams or across the entire organization, poll their colleagues, comment and like posts, and message people directly.
Facebook says that 1,000 test organizations have already created nearly 100,000 groups – and now the company is ready to start monetizing it. Facebook describes the pricing structure as “competitive”.
Facebook says more than 1,000 organisations use the service, up from 450 six months ago. About 85% of Facebook’s user base is outside of the U.S. and Canada.
“We already use tech to make our personal lives easier”, said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at the launch event.
In many companies, blue-collar workers do not have email addresses, which Mr Codorniou said hampered communication.
It’s no secret that Facebook wants to monopolize every minute you spend online. In particular, businesses in highly regulated industries like banking and utilities have been able to move more quickly than expected to adopt Workplace.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is taking the platform to the workplace on Tuesday.