Facebook launches 'Workplace' a business version of Facebook

Facebook launches 'Workplace' a business version of Facebook

Facebook on Monday also unveiled a Workplace Partner Program - a group of technology and professional service organizations such as Deloitte, which will be expected to work with Facebook to bring Workplace to more businesses across the globe.

So what makes Workplace than different than the Facebook we're all accustomed to? Well, the rumors are true, and we've got the 411 for you.

While Facebook may be practically peerless when it comes to commanding screen time in people's personal lives, it remains to be seen if it can hold their attention at work.

Facebook has launched a corporate communications tool aimed at businesses, non-profits and other organisations.

Shares of Facebook (FB) were increasing in mid-afternoon trading on Monday as the social media company rolled out "Workplace" today.

After 18 months of testing, the Facebook founder's platform for work has publicly launched.

The Workplace by Facebook application is launching for both mobile and desktop and is as feature loaded as the original, social platform.

Much has happened in the enterprise social network space since Workplace was first announced. Facebook said it will not charge for inactive users.

For one to 1,000 active users, Workplace will cost $3 per user per month. It is priced at US$3 per user for up to 1,000 monthly active users, $2 per user for 1,001 to 10,000 and $1 per user for 10,001 and above. There are then two other packages offering more features and capabilities for $6.67 and $12.50 per monthly user - so Facebook is certainly entering the market at a competitive price point. Businesses have to pay, but Facebook is offering it to schools and nonprofits for free.

Facebook, which first launched almost 12 years ago, didn't rush into the enterprise market by any means, but Workplace by Facebook could ultimately represent the purest manifestation of the modern consumerization of IT movement. "Facebook believes that coming out of the consumer world, where these millennials honed their habits, is a market they can succeed in and capitalize on financially, and I agree", LeClair says.

So far more than 100,000 groups have been created in the previous year. As stated in the Facebook press materials, "No organization is an island". "That's how we've been running the company for years". Users can add and share comments, photos and videos about their work and can engage in video calls with co-workers. The Multi-company groups are invite only. Members won't be able to see any information in the other organisation's Workplace community.

For perspective, that adoption rate is more than double the 450 organizations that were part of Facebook's not-so-secret beta program just six months ago. This clearly shows that Facebook has made a lot of headway in recent months with growing its Workplace customer base.

Facebook said the top five countries now using Workplace are India, Norway, the US, UK and France.

Workplace fulfills a key gap in the market - for people who don't work at offices or at desks.

"You don't need any training to use the tool".

Not normal Facebook, that is, but rather a business version of the social networking service called "Workplace by Facebook".

Follow Michelle Burbick and No Jitter on Twitter!