Facebook’s Slack Alternative Reaches 3M Users, Adds Video Options

Facebook’s Slack-like worker communication app, Workplace, has just announced a slew of new features along with a milestone – it recently hit three million paying users.

As reported, the service, which costs $1.50 a month for every front-line worker and goes up to levels of $4 and $8, added about one million workers in the last eight months.

In order to differentiate from other workplace communication services, Workplace has announced a focus on video communication using Portal, Facebook’s proprietary video screen. The company also launched new features that include captioning, auto translating and a new P2P system that will automatically adjust video speed for slower bandwidths.

The two men at the helm of Workplace, Karandeep Anand from Microsoft and Julien Codorniou, have emphasized how Workplace is used by Walmart, the largest private employer in the world, to illustrate its proficiency in dealing with corporate environments.

Workplace says it has 150 companies with upwards of 10,000 active users each, and names companies like Starbucks, Spotify and Deliveroo among its clients.

The new features come as Facebook is specifically positioning Portal as a tool for business, which gives the device a new avenue for sales.

Workplace has been developing the use of video for a while; it has been used as a way for superiors to send out messages to workers or for people to create group chats about projects. Having a specific screen for this purpose will help to drive the product forward and facilitate easy video conferencing.

In general, videoconferencing is expensive and requires the installation of costly equipment, so Facebook’s $179 solution could be an enticing way for companies to interact internally.

“I think Workplace itself is getting to a market that has been untouched before,” Codorniou said. “When it comes to badges or goals, for example, yes, people have used these before, but the difference is that we are offering them to a wide network of people. If you have to use a separate app, it’s not a great experience.”