Workplace, the enterprise collaboration platform by Facebook, now offers a variety of new features designed to attract more enterprise users to the platform and help them to better collaborate during this global lockdown.
While Facebook claims the app now has over 5 million paid users, with about 2 million added since October 2019. The growth rate is in line with what's recorded by other collaboration and videoconferencing companies, which have all rapidly gained more users this year as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The importance of videoconferencing now cannot be overemphasized, as market leaders like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, Slack, and others are already pushing for more efficient videoconferencing system.
Facebook on its part, has made it possible for users to set up ‘Workplace Rooms’ which is essentially an enterprise version of Messenger Rooms launched last month. For Workplace Rooms, teams can host spontaneous video calls via desktop, mobile or the Workplace app on Portal.
And they can even invite individuals who doesn't have Workplace accounts to join the video calls: using Portal TV for Workplace video calls, Workplace Live on Portal or set up a Workplace Room on Portal.
Why the use of videoconferencing has gained more traction?
The COVID-19 pandemic heated up the demand for videoconferencing, as a result of the global lockdown that has forced many enterprises to have their workers working from home.
And the remote work demands caught many companies off guard and now, they've recognized the importance of keeping their employees always connected, engaged and productive.
Facebook also announced that the company will permanently embrace remote work, even after the current lockdown is lifted. While the company would aggressively open up remote hiring and expects about half of the workforce to work remotely over the next five to 10 years.
Other Changes coming to Workplace
Other changes coming to Facebook Workplace include new VR (virtual reality) capabilities built around the company's virtual reality technology, Oculus, which started largely as a consumer product.
But as VR is increasingly used by companies for training and education; Facebook claims that over 400 Oculus business apps now exist and can be integrated with the Workplace platform.
Facebook is also working on bringing its Portal video hardware to the office with a dedicated Workplace app, which is one among a handful of other updates to the enterprise collaboration platform.