This redesigned office chair is straight out of your dentist nightmare
Facebook may be the last company you’d ever expect to make software for serious businesses, but the social network is quickly proving the haters wrong.
A year after officially launching Workplace, the business-focused version of Facebook, the service now counts more than 30,000 businesses and organizations using the software, Facebook announced Thursday.
That group, more than double what Workplace claimed six months ago, includes names like Starbucks, Spotify, Lyft, and Walmart.
Though not as huge as some of its biggest competitors — less than a year in Microsoft Teams counts more than 125,000 organizations — the growth is impressive, considering that it wasn’t that long ago that the idea of Facebook launching professional software seemed like more of a joke than anything else.
“I remember a lot of people, the first time they ever heard of Workplace, they were kind of somewhat skeptical as to why Facebook is building this, and were they serious about it,” says Workplace Product Manager Simon Cross. “If I look back on the last year, the biggest change is that all of that has fallen away.”
Its current growth should also scare the hell out of Slack, which announced 50,000 paid teams last month. Now, Facebook is doing even more to compete with the Silicon Valley darling, which is working with nearly half of the Fortune 500.
After quietly releasing a beta version earlier this month, Facebook is officially breaking out Workplace’s messaging features into a standalone app for desktop and mobile called Workplace Chat.
Workplace Chat has the same functionality as Workplace’s existing messaging features, but is the first time they’ve been completely unchained from the larger Workplace platform, which also includes more traditionally “Facebookey” features, like a News Feed and profiles.
Now, Workplace users can access messaging features like screen and file sharing, private and group messages, and video calling all in one app. Speaking of video calling, Facebook plans to add group video calling to Workplace’s repertoire of messaging features “in the coming months.”
The existing desktop and mobile versions of Workplace are also getting a bit of a redesign that makes the software look and feel a bit more like Facebook’s recently redesigned app.
Put all that together and it looks like Workplace will only keep growing — something Cross says others have already taken notice of.
“If I think about how conversations go now, nobody is skeptical about our involvement in the space. We are absolutely serious about this.”