Workplace, The New Social Network for Business from Facebook

In March this year Facebook hosted its first global summit spotlighting a growing social network platform for businesses launched two years ago called Workplace platform.

While Facebook would not disclose exact figures, it said Workplace – a rival to collaboration services such as Slack, Salesforce, and Microsoft – has been a hit, and that ranks of users have doubled in the past eight to 10 months.

The list of companies using Workplace included Walmart, Starbucks, Spotify, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic.

“It is growing very fast,” Julien Codorniou said, Workplace vice president. “We started with big companies, because that is where we found traction. It is a very good niche.”

Workplace is a separate operation from Facebook’s main social network and is intended as a platform to connect everyone in a company, from counter or warehouse workers to chief executives, according to Codorniou.


Why Use Workplace?

Workplace claimed that a differentiator from its competitors is that it connects all employees in businesses no matter their roles, even if their only computing device is a smartphone.

“That really resonates with a new generation,” Codorniou said of Workplace’s ‘democratic’ nature.

“Millennials want to know who they work for and understand the culture of the company.” He cited cases of top company executives using Workplace to get feedback from workers at all levels, bringing a small company feel to much larger operations.

Workplace is rolled out to everyone in companies, which then pay $3 monthly for each active user. The software-as-a-service business began as an internal collaboration platform used at Facebook and was launched as its own business in 2016.

Workplace is currently used by 30,000 companies and has its main office in London, according to Codorniou.

Interaction with the platform plays off how people use Facebook, and Workplace adopts innovations from the leading social network. But, it is billed as a completely separate product.

“This is coming from Facebook Inc., but has nothing to do with Facebook,” said Julien, so companies can be assured that their personal Facebook activities will not be viewed through Workplace.

The Launch

The conference in March was used to announce new Workplace features, including a version of Facebook safety check designed as a way for companies to quickly determine the status and well-being of workers in event of disaster or tragedy.

Workplace also introduced the ability to have group voice or video chats with people the company work with routinely outside of the business.

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