Workplace by Facebook was launched today by EMEA VP Nicola Mendelsohn, who celebrated the fact that the enterprise messaging platform was designed and built in the UK.
“London has a lot more in common with San Francisco than just the fog”, said Mendelsohn.
Marking the first global launch outside the US, Mendelsohn spoke about the evils of email, selling Facebook’s culture as a perfect fit for the enterprise. Aspects such as speed, agility and frictionless communication were cited as values of the company, values which are at home in an enterprise setting.
The enterprise messaging service is based on Facebook’s own internal corporate network. The platfrom features an algorithm which ranks and displays a news feed based on a user’s previous activity on the corporate account. Workers can share documents, chat in groups or privately and watch videos. Mobile-first just like Facebook, the company pushed the fact that the service is for everyone – from the CEO to the intern.
Boasting enterprise-grade security and administration tools, Workplace does not require users to have a personal Facebook account, nor can employers see their workers personal Facebook accounts.
Marking the first time that Facebook will charge a fee for a service, the company is offering the first three months free on a pay for what you use, no commitment basis. Pricing will start at $3 per month for the first 1000 monthly users, with the price decreasing as the number of users goes up.
Competitor Slack offers three versions of its messaging service, starting with a basic free version. There are then two other packages offering more features and capabilities for $6.67 and $12.50 per monthly user – so Facebook is certainly entering the market at a competitive price point.
Facebook is synonymous with social networking, but now the 12-year old company is vying to cross over into the enterprise, joining a number of high-profile rivals in the business-messaging market. Slack, Microsoft’s Yammer and Jive are just some of the business-messaging companies which Facebook is looking to take on, with its case for fast adoption a solid proposition. Used by a quarter of the world’s population, adoption may be easier due to the fact that so many workers already use the website and mobile app in their personal lives.
Although some businesses may be wary of adopting the service due to Facebook being a distraction for workers, demand for the service was high in its testing period with 60,000 companies applying to test the tool, according to Facebook.