Facebook Workplace Adds Chat Desktop Apps and Group Video

Most people might not view Facebook as a place for workplace productivity, but that notion has changed over the past year.

The social media giant launched Workplace one year ago and just announced that over 30,000 organizations use the integrated platform worldwide. This total is double the number of companies that used Workplace just six months ago, showing steady growth.

Workplace users have created over one million groups to help their teams cooperate better. The different companies joining Workplace represent a variety of industries, including Heineken, Spotify and Lyft.

The platform has grown over the past year, with additions like multi-company groups and live video chat. Now Facebook is introducing Workplace Chat, making it even easier for people to communicate seamlessly in real time, whether they are at the office or on the go. Workplace Chat always had browser and mobile applications, but now a separate desktop platform is available. Users can chat with text, video call one person or a group, send files or even share screens.

In the coming weeks, Facebook will update the Workplace Chat to include group video support for desktop and mobile users. The apps have also been updated with a new design to create consistency and navigation issues.

Workplace Chat looks to compete with hugely popular workflow apps like Slack, as Facebook’s offering takes the simplicity of the company’s Messenger platform and combines it with workplace efficiency tools.

Workplace charges based on monthly active users, a metric not often utilized by enterprise services. The prices range from one dollar to a few dollars per user, based on the kinds of features they want access to. There is also a free option that offers basic communication tools as well.

Last month Facebook signed Walmart, the world’s largest employer with 2.2 million employees, onto Workplace. They use it for tasks like sharing product display pictures, live broadcasting company news and more.