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Workplace by Facebook Review: Social Media with a Business Twist

Facebook joins the Team Collaboration Software crowd

Workplace by Facebook Review: Social Media with a Business Twist

Following a comprehensive trial period with more than 1000 organisations, Facebook finally launched “Workplace”, it’s solution to collaboration and communication on the 10th of October, 2016. For those who haven’t heard of it yet, it’s basically a professional version of the Facebook social media service and messenger, which has been designed to compete with Asana, Slack, and similar products.

According to Facebook, the group has actually been using a similar app themselves to help them run their company over the years. They felt that just as Facebook can help friends and family stay connected, it can also offer the same benefits for co-workers too – which is why they began testing a workplace version of Facebook in 2015.

Facebook Workplace offers all the features that you would expect from Facebook itself, including News Feeds, the ability to share and create groups, and access to useful features like “Live” or “Trending Posts”. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Workplace by Facebook, and what it has to offer organisations. Crucially, the opinions expressed here belong to the reviewer alone, as UC Today has no financial connection with Facebook Workplace. We encourage you to share your own thoughts and questions in the comments below.

A Cloud-Based Solution for Team Communication

Workplace by Facebook is a cloud-based service that offers many of the same features you would expect from a professional version of your favourite social media platform. The aim of the platform is to eliminate or reduce the requirements that businesses have for internal collaboration tools like telephony systems, intranet, video conferencing, and distribution lists.

Many companies have already found that Workplace can help to simplify communications, and inspire the greater adoption of digital and mobile services across a company-wide basis.

Workplace by Facebook Review: How is it Licensed?

Workplace by Facebook offers uses a “free trial” to help them get a feel for the services that they’ll get access to by signing up to the Workplace. The free trial includes things like live video streaming, unlimited video and photo storage, unlimited team and project groups, and integration with various suites. However, you will have to sign up for a premium package if you want to continue using Workplace.

Pricing for the service is “progressive”. In other words, the amount you spend depends on how many users are on the platform. Starting at $3 per active user a month for the first 1,000 people, the price decreases as the user number increases. Additional users of up to 10,000 (after 1,001), will cost $2 per month, while users beyond that number only cost $1 per month.

When it comes to pricing, it’s important to keep the word “active” in mind. Simply put, your account won’t be charged for people who don’t log in to Facebook Workplace during a specific month. What’s more, Facebook does all the math for you each month.

Facebook Workplace Add-Ons and Applications

Right now, Facebook Workplace is still the “new kid on the block”, so there’s not much to see in terms of Add-ons and applications. However, what you get from the basic package is basically precisely what you would expect. Everyone gets a news feed and a profile, as well as the ability to join groups and so on.

There’s also a chat application called “Work Chat” that’s pretty much identical to Facebook messenger, where private messages can be shared either one-to-one, or in a group.

What We Like about Workplace by Facebook

Perhaps the most appealing feature of Workplace is that it’s so familiar. The group has brought everyone’s favourite features from Facebook, such as the News Feed and the basic infrastructure, into a professional platform. On top of that, within reason, there’s unlimited photo, file, and video storage too! These are just a few of our favourite features:

  • There’s a dashboard featuring analytics for companies to check out employee engagement levels in the app. In other words, you can see just how much people in your team are using Workplace.
  • Multi-Company groups: These shared spaces allow for employees from a range of different businesses and organisations to work seamlessly together. That means that you can extend collaboration opportunities beyond your business in a secure and simple way.
  • The Workplace Partner Program uses a group of professional service and technology organisations to help companies get started with Workplace. In other words, you’ll have countless ways to access your application, by working either with the Facebook team directly, or through their designated partners.
  • Super affordable: When it comes to budget-friendly collaboration apps, Workplace is one of the most affordable options on the market. What’s more, you don’t have to pay for any users that aren’t active in the system.

On top of that, the whole platform feels so wonderfully familiar that it’s easy to integrate in just about any workplace. No matter whether you’re a small organisation or a larger enterprise, the natural feeling of Facebook means that you probably won’t have to spend long training your team how to use this team collaboration software solution.

What Could be Improved?

Right now, Facebook’s Workplace is still fresh and new to the communication and collaboration environment, which means it’s tough to see just how effective it’s going to be in the long-term. At the same time, there’s some concern in the industry surrounding privacy policies, particularly as the standard Facebook application has seen some controversy for its lax approach to privacy in the past. However, Facebook claims that the information that is covered in Workplace chat will belong exclusively to the company or employer using the system.

Who is Workplace For?

Workplace by Facebook is designed for companies of all shapes and sizes. As you can probably tell by its progressive pricing structure, the group are trying to access small businesses and larger enterprises at the same time. It seems that no matter the type of business you’re running, Workplace by Facebook could be a simple and effective communications platform, ideal for bringing teams together so that they can communicate more effectively as a group.

What is it Compatible With?

One of the biggest issues that enterprises, business administrators, and company leaders are facing today when it comes to adopting new collaboration and communication services, is the issue of integration. At this time, Facebook only supports a few services, including OneLogin, Windows Azure AD, Okta, Ping, and G Suite. Though these solutions allow companies to integrate Workplace more easily with their existing systems, more integrations may be necessary in the future.

Workplace doesn’t currently integrate with any other communication tools such as Slack, that could be seen as competitors in the market. This could be an odd choice considering the fact that many communication and collaboration services are embracing integration opportunities.

Workplace by Facebook Review: UC Today’s Opinion

For communication and mobile workforce solutions, Facebook’s Workplace is the new kid on the block, brimming with potential, yet still waiting for a chance to shine. It’s got plenty of great features, including a fantastic sense of familiarity that makes adoption and integration easier among a range of different companies and industries. However, there’s still plenty of room to grow.

For those who enjoy the easy-going efficiency of Facebook for their everyday communications, Workplace could be the perfect way to take social media for business to the next level, with all of the instant chat services and file sharing solutions you could possibly need.

Have you been using Workplace by Facebook? Why not share your opinions of the platform with us in the comments below? At the same time, please share this review with your friends and colleagues on social media, so that they can take part in the discussion too!

Workplace by Facebook Alternatives

If you’re researching Team Collaboration Software vendors, then you may want to look at these Workplace alternatives:

What’s Workplace been up to lately? Get more Workplace by Facebook News here!

4 out of 5

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