Facebook has opened up its new Workplace platform, which lets companies set up their own internal version of the social network to businesses.
The app looks similar to Facebook, with features such as live video streaming and messaging, but is kept completely separate from users’ personal profiles.
Facebook are coming out of beta with more than 1,000 organisations using Workplace worldwide, on every continent except Antarctica, and more than 100,000 groups already in use.
The top 5 countries using Workplace are India, Norway, US, UK and France.
It is designed to replace other business tools such as email.
One analyst said the platform would pose a challenge to a broad range of rival services.
Facebook say Workplace fulfills a key gap in the market – for people who don’t work at offices or at desks. These are retail workers, ship crews, baristas – all of whom did not have access to traditional workplace tools, but because our product is mobile – are driving adoption.
In a statement, the company said:
“We’ve seen that just as Facebook keeps you connected to friends and family, it can do the same with co-workers. We’ve brought the best of Facebook to the workplace.”
Food giant Danone, India’s Yes Bank, the Government Technology Agency of Singapore, and Starbucks are among those that have already deployed the app.
Workplace is Facebook’s first service to charge a subscription fee, a deviation from the company’s usual advertising-funded model.
An employee’s Workplace account is kept entirely separate from any personal Facebook profile they may use to share content outside work.
The new platform also includes multi-Company Groups, shared groups that allow employees from multiple organisations to work together. All group members must be part of a Workplace community, and members from other companies won’t be able to see any information from your company outside of the multi-company groups they are in with you.