Workplace, Facebook’s enterprise-focused chat and video platform, has announced a number of new features, including Work Groups, video interactivity-boosting tools, and a work-focused version of Rooms, its video drop-in product.
The move highlights Facebook’s efforts to expand its offering of business-oriented tools and services, as well as the worldwide recognition of the new reality that companies need both effective and powerful digital strategies to stay afloat, and the tools for the same.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have triggered a massive boom in the user adoption of video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Meet, as well as collaboration tools including Slack and Microsoft Teams.
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Facebook Workplace currently has 5 million subscribers, with around a million free users also.
“We will see the impact of Covid-19 a few weeks from now,” said Julien Codorniou, VP for Workplace.
Rooms is an import from Facebook’s consumer products; it is a spontaneous drop-in video chat application that leverages users’ social networks to create an informal online meeting experience. Having been launched only at the end of April, its import to the enterprise section has been surprisingly quick.
One important element of Rooms for Workplace is that existing Workplace users can create links for that outside of the user’s Workplace group (or even outside of Facebook) to drop in. The link will function much like a Zoom URL link, allowing those with a mic, speaker, and a working network connection into the Room.
The new products and features all leverage users’ existing Workplace group and their Facebook connections, linking the enterprise and consumer sides and creating a digital working experience that is unique to Facebook.
Cordoniou noted the idea is to show a wider group of Facebook users how they might use Facebook for work, and to hopefully increase usage of Facebook in consequence.