If Slack, Skype, Trello, Whatsapp and a good old fashioned phone call aren’t good enough for you, good news. Facebook now also has a communication app for businesses: Workplace.

That might seem like an over simplification of what Facebook is offering with its app but at the core, it’s just another way for employees to interact with one another.

Workplace or at least an iteration of the app, has been used by Facebook for a number of years now and for the last year it has been testing the app with some 1 000 organisations including Oxfam, Booking.com and Danone.

“People have created nearly 100,000 groups and the top five countries using Workplace are India, the US, Norway, UK and France. We’re excited by the progress we’ve made and the level of adoption and engagement we’re seeing,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Workplace does have a slight edge over other apps in the market and that’s familiarity. The app looks like Facebook; the pages even look like a page was taken out of the interface design for Facebook Groups.

The added benefit of this is that there is a whack of functionality that has been brought over from Facebook. This includes live videos, instant messaging in the form of Chat and the ability to create groups within an organisation. “This means you can chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow along with your CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live,” explained the social network.

The price you pay

Perhaps the most unique aspect of Workplace is how its pricing is determined. For the first 1 000 monthly active users organisations will pay $3 (R41.76) per user. When that threshold is crossed companies will pay $2 (R27.84) per active user and once 10 001 users is surpassed the fee drops to $1(R13.92) per active user. Besides a three month free trial there is no free tier unless you are a non-profit or educational institution.

What’s interesting about this is that if a user isn’t using the platform, a company wouldn’t pay for them. This puts Facebook in a rather dangerous position as it has essentially put the burden of engagement on itself.

Sure, an organisation can sign up for Workplace and enjoy the three month trial, but if after that period the team loses interest, well then Facebook has a dud on its hands.

As was pointed out right at the outset, there are a number of other apps that offer similar functionality to Workplace. While having all that functionality in one place sounds great people are resistant to change and Workplace needs to win over customers in an already crowded space.

Are you or your organisation going to try Facebook Workplace out? If you are, or aren’t, tell us why in the comments below.

[Source – Facebook]