Facebook taps enterprise communication market with 'Workplace'

For years Facebook has been used to get connected virtually with friends and family, but now, its Founder and CEO, Mark Zukerberg, has taken a different approach with the popular social media platform as he wants people to use it in offices to get connected to fellow workers and other organizations. In other words, Facebook has officially launched “Facebook at Workplace”, an enterprise communication tool that claims to have been specifically designed to make the business communication process simpler and smoother. The platform was in beta since January and now, the company states that more than 1,000 organizations around the world are using Workplace (formerly known as Facebook at Work). People have created nearly 100,000 groups and the top five countries using Workplace are India, US, Norway, UK and France. Facebook says that workplace is more than just communicating between desks within the walls of an office. Some people spend their entire workday on the go, on their mobile phone. Others spend all day out in the field, or on the road. So now with this platform, a shipping company can also 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. Multinational companies like Danone, Starbucks and Booking.com, international nonprofits such as Oxfam, and regional leaders such as YES Bank in India and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore have all embraced Workplace.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Facebook, told Wall Street journal, “E-mail is good and has its place, but none of us like that endless email chain of reply all, reply all, reply all.”
Facebook has entered into this market quite late and is going to face a stiff competition from already existing players like Slack, Yammer, Confluence and Jive, as all of them serve the same purpose of making the business communication more efficient. The question that pops up here is what different has Facebook done with this workplace platform to stand apart in the market? As reported by Quartz, Workplace is very similar to Slack. Though the Slack services are free for the users but it charges a premium to offer more features such as additional storage. Whereas, Workplace has a lower rate in comparison, as it charges on the basis of the size of the organization. Other players in the same space such as Yammer from Microsoft, is a chat app that is a part of Office 365 package which has the inclusion of excel and word. Google Hangouts also has many features like spreadsheets, storage space offerings, and a wide range of documents. Though Workplace is cheaper, it doesn’t have these features. But here, Facebook has played smart as has partnered with Box to allow users to share things form their Box accounts.  

Price comparison

Service Fare per month
Facebook $3
Slack $6.67
Yammer $8
Hangouts $5
With the current pricing of $3 a month per user, Workplace seems to have positioned itself as an affordable platform and claims to have introduced the best of Facebook features. Right from the basic infrastructure that includes News Feed or the ability to create and share in Groups via chat or useful features such as Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts. The company aims to give its users the liberty to chat with colleagues from across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow presentations on Facebook Live.

The Multi-Company Groups:

Facebook claims to not only have focused on the internal communication but has also given an equal importance to the external communication between different organizations. It has announced Multi-Company Groups, shared spaces that will allow employees from different organizations to work together, to extend collaboration beyond their company in a safe and secure way. These features will be rolling out to all customers in the coming weeks. Facebook states that people are familiar with the interface and features. Hence, it is aiming to gain popularity in an short timespan. The social media giant also claims that ‘Facebook for Work’ which was in a beta phase has benefited enterprises with aligned communication, modernized tools, project management, boosting operations, transparency, better event participation, and more speed. Now with the full offering, more companies can accelerate business communication with its tools.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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