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After taking over people's social lives, Facebook's new service is targeting their work lives

The social network wants to take on office messaging platforms like Slack.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT Facebook is gearing up to take on office messaging platform Slack at its own game with the roll out of its new social network for businesses.

Workplace, a new Facebook product launched at an event in London today, is a platform very similar to the social network’s main Messenger service and will feature a number of staple features from Facebook such as news feeds, live videos and groups.

The new platform, which was previously known as Facebook at Work, is available on both desktop and mobile, and only has a handful of unique features such as a dashboard with analytics and single sign-on capabilities.

Employee profiles on Workplace will be entirely separate from personal accounts, with no facility for content to crossover between the two accounts.

Over 1,000 organisations were already signed up to the platform during a the beta-testing phase, including large companies like Starbucks and Booking.com, and non-profit organisation Oxfam.

The service also includes the ability for different organisations to collaborate using the platform by linking their Workplace networks through groups. Facebook said that over 100,000 groups were created while the product was being beta tested.

In order to speed up the roll-out of the new service, Facebook has partnered with consultancy firm Deloitte to introduce the service to its clients through the so-called ‘Workplace Partner Programme’.

03-profile Source: Facebook

Aggressive pricing

In a move to test Slack’s nerve, Facebook has entered the intra-office messaging space with an aggressive pricing model.

Companies will pay a monthly fee of $3 per user if it has less than 1,000 active users on the service and $2 per user if it has less than 10,000 employees. Past the 10,000 employee mark, organisations will be charged $1 per active employee using the service.

This is the first time Facebook has decided to charge a subscription fee for a service, instead of opting for an advertising-funded model.

Slack also has a three tier pricing model, but instead of being based on the number of users on a service, it charges different amounts depending on the features organisations want to use on the messaging platform.

Companies can use Slack for free, but only get access to a limited number of features. However, the standard pricing model, which includes features such as file storage and unlimited archives of messages, costs $8 per month, while the Slack Plus account costs $15 per month.

02-chat-live Workplace has live chat capabilities Source: Facebook

Slack, which has raised over $500 million in venture capital funding to date, isn’t Facebook’s only competitor in the space.

Mark Zuckerburg’s company will also have its eye on taking a chunk of customers from the likes of web-based project management application Trello, while larger corporation such as Salesforce and Microsoft also have some products that could rival Facebook in this space.

Written by Killian Woods and posted on Fora.ie

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