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Facebook Workplace Business Software Finally Launches To Take On Slack: Enterprise Social Networking, Anyone?

10 October 2016, 4:20 pm EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Tech Times
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Facebook at Work has finally exited its extensive closed beta, rolling out on desktop and mobile as Workplace by Facebook. The enterprise social networking and messaging service comes with neat tricks and some aggressive pricing, gunning for Slack.  ( Workplace by Facebook )

After a long time in testing, Facebook at Work has finally made its official debut today, rolling out as Workplace by Facebook.

Facebook at Work has been in closed beta testing for the past 20 months and it now seems that previous rumors of an October launch were spot on. The enterprise-focused social networking and messaging service is now officially available as Workplace by Facebook, and it also brings a new kind of pricing model to the table.

"Connect everyone in your company and turn ideas into action. Through group discussion, a personalised News Feed, and voice and video calling, work together and get more done," Facebook touts.

"Workplace is an ad-free space, separate from your personal Facebook account."

Workplace is hitting the scene as both a desktop and a mobile app and it brings a Newsfeed, Groups for both employees within your company and others, Chat for direct messaging, Reactions, Live Video, translation features, as well as audio and video calling. Workplace by Facebook is now open to anyone, as the company is targeting its new product to the masses.

Facebook wants to appeal not only to white-collar professionals who are already using enterprise software, but all employees from all fields, especially considering that many of them may already be using Facebook outside work.

This could give Workplace a notable edge against rivals, which should come in handy since the service will face some steep competition on the market. Noteworthy rivals include Slack, Yammer, Chatter and many others, but Facebook believes it can find a place for Workplace in the enterprise world.

Although Workplace is not exactly a novelty, it does come with a few perks that may help it stand out from the crowd. Pricing may be one since it foregoes the standard business models in favor of Facebook-like metrics based on monthly active users.

Rather than offering freemium or premium tiers, or basing the price on the number of users within a company or other such factors, Workplace by Facebook will offer the same features to all users, charging by monthly active users.

In this case, monthly active users will be defined as those who open and use Workplace at least once per month. The first 1,000 users will have to pay a $3 monthly charge per user; from 1,001 to 10,000, Facebook will charge $2 per user per month, while for those above 10,000 users, it will charge just $1 per user per month.

To get things started, Facebook is also offering a three-month free trial for Workplace.

This new pricing model is extremely aggressive considering that rival Slack requires $8 or $15 per user per month for two sets of features, reducing the price with annual subscriptions.

Facebook has already signed up some customers, including 100,000 employees from the Royal Bank of Scotland, 100,000 employees from Danone, 238,000 employees from Starbucks, 36,000 employees from Telenor and 13,000 employees from Booking.com, TechCrunch reports.

If you've already decided to try out Workplace by Facebook, drop by our comment section below and tell us what you think of it. Should Slack be worried?

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