Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017.
Facebook announced Tuesday that its workplace corporate communications software has now reached 7 million paid subscribers, up 40% from last year’s 5 million.
Workplace is business software that companies can use as an internal social network to communicate with their employees. The service was launched in 2016 and has customers such as Spotify and Starbucks.
The workplace lags far behind its top competitors. Microsoft announced last month that its Team product now has more than 145 million active users per day, up more than 93% from 75 million in April 2020. Slack is no longer disclosing user counts, but the company claimed in September 2019 12 million active users per day The company last announced that statistics and the number of paying customers had increased by almost 42% from 110,000 in March 2020 to 156,000 in March 2021.
It’s also pretty unimportant to the company’s financial results. Facebook hasn’t figured out how much Workplace is contributing to its revenue, but the service does count under the “Other” business label in its financial results alongside its Oculus and Portal hardware devices. In the first quarter of 2021, “Other” made up around 2.8% of Facebook’s revenue, with the rest coming from advertising.
“We developed Workplace as an in-house version of Facebook to run our own business, and it was so useful that we started making it available to other organizations,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, in one Post on Facebook on Tuesday.
Julien Codorniou, vice president of the workplace, told CNBC that his unit’s goal was to democratize business IT software to the billions of Facebook users. The idea is to do this by creating services that use the same functionality that Facebook’s user apps are already familiar with.
“A lot of people have never had access to IT because it was too complicated or too expensive,” said Codorniou. “You could take my mom and take her to the workplace and she would understand how to use it right away.”
Facebook also announced a number of new features for Workplace on Tuesday. These include a new live Q&A experience, integration with Microsoft 365 and Google’s G Suite calendar apps, as well as a number of new diversity features, including different skin tones for emoji and a feature that lets users share with their colleagues correct type of pronunciation can show name.