“Facebooking at work” is a phrase used to describe slacking off instead of getting stuff done. But that could be changing very soon. Facebook has finally released their workplace version, simply called Workplace. Workplace will allow users to message each other. It has a lot of the same functions that Facebook normally has, but with less distractions. The new version will only allow employees to communicate with others within the same company.
The system is based on one that Facebook has been using internally for years now, and follows a year-long beta test of what was then referred to as Facebook at Work. About 1,000 businesses were involved in the beta test. What’s more, a variety of commercial partners are joining forces with Facebook to implement their own tools into Workplace. Cloud storage company Box, for example, will be providing storage integrated with Workplace over the next few months.
Workplace occupies a much broader space than a program like Slack, which is a popular real-time chat service used by a lot of businesses. There are, of course, plenty of workarounds that can be used for internal communication and sharing files, but Facebook is looking to integrate these kinds of workarounds into one system.
Workplace isn’t free though, and the pricing plan has companies paying per user per month. The fees start at $3 and go down from there, with companies paying less per person when they hit certain benchmarks, namely over 1,000 users and 10,000 users. That means if you only have a dozen employees, you’re not paying as much as a company that has 5,000. Paying per user makes the system more affordable for everyone.
As an added bonus, the Workplace version comes without any ads. Facebook has even decided to give the Workplace version away for free to nonprofits and educational institutions.