After a year-and-a-half long closed beta, Facebook is finally opening up its doors for the rest of the world to get on board with their new social network aimed directly at businesses.
This ad-free platform – named Workplace – is completely separate from Facebook but still keeps the same design that we’re so familiar with, eliminating the hassle of having to learn the ropes of a brand-new network. Workplace is a tool meant to bridge the communication gap and make the day-to-day work life easier for businesses, non-profits, and other organizations.
Much like the Facebook we know and love, group chats, video calls and company announcements are just a few of the features you’ll find on Workplace. Employees build their own user profiles and a Facebook algorithm customizes their newsfeed to relevant posts within their company, helping keep people up-to-date. Groups can be made to help organize projects and the handy mobile app ensures that everyone from the desk employee to the person on-the-go can stay in the loop.
Instead of advertisements being utilized to float the costs of the network, the company is instead implementing a monthly fee based on the number of accounts registered to the organization (waving the fee for any accounts that aren’t active). The monthly cost starts at just $3USD for companies with 1 – 1 000 active accounts, the cost slipping down to $2USD for 1 000 – 10 000 accounts and finally dropping to only $1USD for any number of accounts over 10 000.
Some aren’t happy about Facebook charging for the platform, but it’s a significant price difference from their number one competitor, Slack, which charges $6.67USD per account. If the savings in price wasn’t enough and you’re still not convinced, Facebook even offers a three month free trial so businesses can get a feel for it before investing money.
Workplace’s goal is to replace older methods of communication such as emails, mailing lists and newsletters. They will likely start rolling out integrations, add-ons and additional functions within the next few months, growing it into a more robust platform much like they did with Messenger and Instagram.