Facebook is now working on a free version, hoping to convince businesses to sign up on the platform.
In an effort to challenge Slack, Facebook has announced to offer a free version of Workplace. Workplace is a platform that hopes will replace intranet, mailbox and other internal communication tools used by businesses worldwide. It is intended to compete with similar office communication products including Microsoft’s Yammer, Salesforce’s Chatter and Slack.
The new free version announced by Facebook this week joins a previously announced paid version that premiered in 2016. In conversation with CNBC, Facebook product manager Simon Cross said, “We’re making Workplace work for more companies, so it’s a pretty big step for us. We hope it helps grow the number of companies that we’re able to connect.”
It is similar to Facebook, but instead of connecting with friends, users connect with co-workers. Facebook is testing a free version of Workplace which will be called ‘Workplace Standard,’ while the paid version will be called ‘Workplace Premium.’
Workplace was developed outside of the Facebook ecosystem and remains completely separate from the social network, being accessible without a Facebook account. The service will only enable the transfer of intra-office data, which will remain fully owned by the business.
At the moment, there is no clarity on when the free version will be available, but Facebook has said it would be available “soon”.