(Pocket-lint) - Facebook has officially launched its Slack competitor: Facebook Workplace.
This offering is part social network, part messenger, and part productivity tool for teams. Your Workplace account is only visible to people in your team/company and is separate from your personal account.
Here's everything you need to know about it, including when you can start using it and how much it costs.
What is Facebook Workplace?
Workplace is a mobile and web app that aims to keep your team members connected. The service, which used to be called Facebook Work, offers features like Facebook Groups, Facebook Messenger, built-in audio and video calling, and access to the social network’s profiles, Events, and Live video tools.
Facebook's employees have been internally using a version of Workplace for years. Facebook has also let other companies test Workplace in beta form since at least 2015. Workplace already caters to big clients, including Starbucks, the 100,000-employee Royal Bank Of Scotland, and Booking.com.
What does Facebook Workplace feature?
Facebook said Workplace includes the best of Facebook, such as News Feed, the ability to create and share in Groups, features like Live, Reactions, Search, and Trending posts, and chat so you can communicate with colleagues in real time. There's even something called Multi-Company Groups, which allows employees from different organizations can work together.
Larger organisations will appreciate that Workplace includes a dashboard with analytics and integrations with single sign-on, in addition to identity providers that allow companies to integrate Workplace with their existing IT systems.
How does Facebook Workplace work?
If your company is using Workplace, you can set up your account by clicking the link in the email you've received.
To sign in, visit [YourCompanyName].facebook.com from your computer, or download the iPhone or Android app to access your account.
Workplace lets you make groups, which can be open to any member of your team or just a few. In a group, you can make a new post to get a discussion started, or you can add a photo, video, or document to get input from the rest of the team. You can also respond and react to other members' posts in a group.
News Feed gathers conversations from all your groups, so you'll never miss an update or company announcement. Like the original Facebook News Feed, it's tailored to you so you'll see relevant and trending posts.
You can also follow co-workers to get their updates in your News Feed. On their profiles, you'll see information like who they are and how to get in touch, including sending a message with Workchat.
Workchat in Workplace connects you instantly with any co-worker. You can do one-to-one conversations or loop in more people. Not only can you message, but you can also share files and make video calls with your team.
You can use Workplace to plan a company event (announce when and where it is happening, see who is coming, etc).
Workplace lets you search for names or phrases, and then it serves up results all across your company. You can find co-workers profiles or phrases mentioned in posts. Aside from the universal search bar at the top, just like you'd see in the original Facebook, Workplace lets you search within groups and chats for specific things.
Again, just like the original Facebook, Workplace will notify you when you have new messages or replies on posts. You can get them delivered via email, the desktop site, and through the Workplace mobile app.
Where can you use Facebook Workplace?
You can sign in through the desktop website [YourCompanyName].facebook.com (ex: company.facebook.com) from your computer. You can also sign in through Workplace's free iPhone or Android app to access your account.
When will Facebook Workplace be available?
Workplace is now available to teams, companies, non-profits, and educational institutions of any size.
How much does Facebook Workplace cost?
New companies can get a free three-month trial period for signing up. After that, Facebook Workplace has a tiered pricing structure that costs $3 a month per user for companies with less than 1,000 active users (or $1 per month for companies with over 10,000 users). For non-profits and Educational Institutions, Workplace is completely free. See details of pricing here.
Also, Facebook Workplace's premium version is advert-free.
Facebook Workplace is also getting a standard version that anyone can sign up for and use for free. It's being tested with a select group of users, but Facebook plans to roll it out later this year for anyone to use.
How do you set up Facebook Workplace?
Want to know more?
You can check out Facebook's blog post for more details.