Not just for memes: Facebook gets a professional upgrade

Don't worry—you can keep your personal account private

Facebook has launched the business version of its platform, Workplace by Facebook, which aims to improve communication within organizations and offer an alternative to corporate email. 

Workplace, which looks similar to the traditional Facebook platform, stems from the company's own internal system for employees to share information. Since Workplace's beta launch that took place over the past 18 months, more than 1,000 organizations such as Oxfam, Campbell's, and have adopted the platform. 

Features include:

  • Group chats;
  • Video calls;
  • Personalized newsfeeds; and
  • Facebook Live broadcasts. 

The platform works well on mobile devices, which may be helpful for employees who don't work at a desk. 

"The one thing that I really think Facebook has going for them is that the feature set is proven to work on mobile devices really well and proven to work for people without training," says Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte. "The biggest problem is just connecting people. The paradigm of email is not good at that."

Workplace is not linked to current Facebook users' personal accounts. Users can access Workplace through their companies but lose this privilege when they leave the organization. Businesses pay $1 to $3 per user each month for the service but are not charged for inactive users. Nonprofit groups and educational institutions can use the platform for free. Companies can try the service at no cost for a three-month period (Clancy, Fortune, 10/10; Ortutay, AP/Christian Science Monitor, 10/10). 

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