Facebook Workplace adds chat, Windows and Mac clients and 30000 customers



Facebook likes all the Workplaceness

FACEBOOK HAS announced that its Slack rival Workplace is to bring Chat functionality out of Beta and into our hearts.

Additionally, you can expect to see video calling capabilities added, as well as a stripped down free version of the chat for small businesses and other teams.

Facebook is celebrating 30,000 organisations now using the service – twice what it was six months ago and is offering native clients for both Windows and Mac users to support over a million groups those teams have created.

But here’s the thing. Facebook already offers Workplace free to not-for-profits, educational establishments and there’s a stripped down version for anyone to use – great for hobbyists, community groups and the like. So how many of these 30,000 organisations are generating any revenue for Facebook? The likelihood is, not that many.

And when you consider that Slack has (it says) more like 4m users, Workplace remains small potatoes.

But this is about upping the game, so add in some GIF support, @replies and a fresh lick of paint to bring some conformity across different platforms and clients, and this is looking increasingly like a major play for a share of the market that Slack has dominated by catching bigger rivals with their pants down.

The Windows and Mac clients will have the same support already offered on the mobile versions – chats – both one-to-one and group are bolstered with file sharing and screen sharing.

Facebook is currently receiving heavy criticism from just about everyone after a change to its Facebook feed rolled out in test markets. Separating personal posts from paid-for ones has been hailed as “undemocratic”, and could, it is said, kill off small publishers who rely on the organic traffic from the news feed for content discovery.

Facebook has since said it has no plans to expand the experiment into further markets and is merely trying and experiment. It is expected that those with the new feed will see it roll back. µ