After a few years of speculation and beta testing. Facebook’s enterprise network has finally been released. What we had come to know as Facebook at Work is now called “Workplace By Facebook.” It was announced yesterday in their London office. If you’re not familiar with this, Workplace has been around since 2014. It’s a private Facebook network for a company, group or organization. Many, including myself, thought it would have been released in 2015.
Many, including myself, thought it would have been released in 2015. In the mean time services such as Yammer and Slack have made inroads to the enterprise world. I am a fan of Slack. I have used it for about six months. It has increased communication for the organization I use it with. Slack is better than email because people can have a conversation like instant messaging. The down side is the price. Most smaller organizations won’t have that much income to spend. Like the organization, I am involved with are on the free plan.
Workplace has some advantages over Slack. Also, it has some disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is there is no free plan like with Slack. That being said, the pricing is better than Slack. Depending on your organization’s size, you will pay $1-3 a month per user. This comes with unlimited storage. It’s a disadvantage but not a big one in my opinion. Note, I haven’t actually used Workplace yet. I’m going off what Facebook has posted.
The advantages are quite a few:
- Low Learning Curve – since its based off Facebook we know and most people use. There will not be much training that will need to go into the service. It should operate like your personal Facebook
- Separate from your Personal Account – I find this as a bonus. If this is for work, you want to be focused on work and not playing games and such. This is a private network for you and your business.
- No Ads – Since this is a paid product, there will be no ads in the service.
- Unlimited Storage – There are no limits and file sizes. You can share without worrying about having to expand storage in the future. The price is very cheap for unlimited storage.
How would you use the service? Facebook gave some examples:
a shipping company that can 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. Large 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. People work in different ways, around the world, and Workplace’s mission is to help them stay connected.
It should have all the features of Facebook, Live Video, Messaging, Posts, Groups and more.
News Feed, or the ability to create and share in Groups or via chat, or useful features such as Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts. This means you can chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow along with your CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live
Something I am unsure about is if you can create groups of employees. I think it allows you to group people and have them share amongst their group rather than the entire company. Facebook as created a custom analytics for the service. The delay in launching has let Facebook test and improve the service.
One really great feature is Multi-Company groups. They allow different companies on Workplace, to come together in groups to collaborate. That means someone doesn’t need to be part of one company to participate in a group. It allows for safety and security of your business. This is a feature that I really like. Sometimes you need to work with someone on a limited basis and you don’t want them in your private network. These groups will help facilitate communication.
This is great for small businesses. First, because of the price. The pricing structure is $3 per user up to 1,000 users. $2 per user up to 10,000 users and $1 for 10,001+ users. If you are in education or non-profit, the service is free. They are also offering a three-month free trial. If you’re a small organization of people working from home, like a start up. This could be a great tool to keep in touch.
Workplace is accessed via the web and the Workplace app. Being separate from Facebook you can’t access it from your personal account.