Image: Julien Codornieu, VP of Worplace
Facebook has announced that its business collaboration service has broken through a significant barrier in growth, 3 million paying users. The service has added 1 million paying users in the last eight months alone. Workplace also serves several millions of free users through its Workplace for Good scheme.
In contrast, one of the more established platforms in the collaboration genre, Slack, has just announced it has reached 100,000 paying users, although it has roughly 13 million total users (most of which are on the free tier of the service).
Excitingly Workplace has announced an intent to up its game on the video front with the introduction of
Workplace on Portal. The new app enables business users to make video and voice calls from the smart camera which was previously targeting consumers wanting to connect with friends and family. The smart, AI driven, camera has functionality to allow for enhanced ease of use such as automatically framing the people on the call, calls can also host up to 50 people.
Other video features include:
- Captioning at the bottom of videos
- Auto-translating starting with 14 languages
- P2P architecture – enhanced video transmission for those in places where bandwidth is constrained
This step into the video conferencing market is no surprise, the sector is currently dominated by several huge players including Cisco webex, Zoom and Microsoft yet we have seen time and time again a propensity of the ‘top five’ to jump into markets where they have huge potential for growth.
Facebook Workplace and Portal sit in the business segment of the Facebook Group, which collectively accounts for less than 2% of the group revenue. Facebook simply doesn’t need to make money from these endeavours which will mean it can innovate and price aggressively to engage users… which is clearly happening. Some of their biggest customers include Starbucks, Spotify, Deliveroo and Walmart (the worlds biggest employer).
I expect to hear a lot from the Workplace camp over the next 3 years. They are developing their Channel slowly and are clearly intent on bringing new features and propositions to market. The big question will be whether they intend to develop a fully fledged UCaaS proposition down the line?
Look out for further updates on Workplace in the coming months.
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