Workplace by Facebook, the social network’s enterprise solution for businesses, revealed at its Flow 2019 annual conference in Menlo Park. Calif., that it topped 3 million paying users, roughly eight months after surpassing 2 million in February.
Facebook debuted Workplace by Facebook in October 2016.
Workplace by Facebook vice president Julien Codorniou said in a blog post that in 2019 alone, companies including BT Group, Sky, Petco, Prada and Kering have rolled out the platform, joining “a global movement that ranges from large retailers (Walmart, Starbucks, Campbell’s Soup, Clarins UK Group), to innovative airlines (Delta, Virgin Atlantic, AirAsia, EasyJet), financial institutions (Royal Bank of Scotland, Sun Life Financial, Zurich Insurance Group, Bao Viet Holdings, National Australia Bank), complex enterprises (Vodafone Group, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Telenor) fast-moving disruptors (Spotify, Booking.com, Lyft, Deliveroo, Hyperloop) and countless local businesses.”
In addition to the 3 million-plus paid users, millions more are on the platform via its free tier and its Workplace for Good program for nonprofit organizations and educators.
Video was a hot topic at Flow 2019, and on that note, a new application was rolled out to enable Workplace by Facebook users to make voice and video calls through Facebook’s Portal video-calling device.
Anand noted that Portal’s Smart Camera technology enables people to move about freely while the camera pans and zooms to keep them in-frame, while its Smart Sound technology enhances the voice of the person speaking while minimizing background noise.
A new automatic video captioning feature uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to automatically add captions to videos posted to Workplace by Facebook with the aim of helping hearing-impaired people or frontline workers who may not have the sound turned on.
Workplace by Facebook also added a new peer-to-peer broadcasting video solution to enable high-quality live and on-demand video while using less bandwidth. Anand wrote that when multiple users are viewing the same video stream, that steam will be distributed securely across viewers, rather than each individual receiving their own.
Anand also discussed a host of new features aimed at frontline employees, noting that while 80% of the global workforce does not sit behind a desk, 54% of those frontline workers don’t feel as if they have voices in their businesses, so Workplace by Facebook wanted to add solutions to encourage teamwork, collaboration and recognition.
Workplace by Facebook administrators now have access to a new type of post, learning content, which enables them to create, label and share information such as best practices, learning and development opportunities and tips on onboarding to the platform.
Admins can also send brief surveys via Workplace Chat, selecting the audience, time frame and survey type.
New access codes enable companies using the platform to connect frontline employees without using emails, and customizable pop-ups allow admins to ensure that hourly employees are complying with company policies and local regulations and not logging into Workplace by Facebook when they are not on their shifts.
Another set of new Workplace by Facebook features is aimed at enabling companies on the platform to foster relationships, celebrate successes and share resources more easily.
With the new Goals feature, admins can set targets for their teams, while team members can report on their progress.
The new Thanks posts enable employees to recognize each other’s contribution and notify managers about good work by their colleagues.
And admins can now award or automatically grant Badges for accomplishments such as employment anniversaries or meeting sales goals.
Finally, a new analytics platform for admins gives them new tools including consumption metrics and comment sentiment analysis, so they can assess how messages are resonating with employees.
Anand concluded, “Over the past year, we’ve been working on ways to serve people across the enterprise, including frontline workers, which make up 80% of the world’s workforce. The features we’re announcing today build on this momentum, and we’re making it easier for these employees to do great work by helping them to connect to their organizations through mobile in a secure way. We’re also excited to offer rich video features that enable all employees to be more connected and collaborative.”