Facebook Looks to Seize Control of the Workplace With Free Offering Workplace Standard

Workplace Standard will not offer the administrative tools and access to analytics that are featured in Workplace Premium

Look out, Slack: Facebook is releasing a free version of its Workplace offering for businesses, which it officially introduced last October.

Workplace—which was originally known as Facebook at Work—brings traditional Facebook features such as News Feed, groups, messaging, Facebook Live livestreaming, Reactions, search and Trending to company networks, with everything kept separate from Facebook users’ personal profiles.

UPDATED: Facebook confirmed that it is testing a free version of Workplace, called Workplace Standard, and referring to the paid version as Workplace Premium.

Vanessa Chan, who leads communications for Workplace, emailed the following statement to Social Pro Daily:

The vision of Workplace is to connect everyone. This means people who work only on mobile, on the go. This means large companies with distributed work forces. This means small businesses. This means companies in developed and developing markets. Workplace Standard will make Workplace more accessible and make it simpler for businesses of all sizes across the world to get started.

According to reports, Workplace Standard will not offer the administrative tools and access to analytics that are featured in Workplace Premium. UPDATED: A comparison of the features available via Workplace Standard and Workplace Premium is available here.

Product manager Simon Cross told Harriet Taylor of CNBC that Workplace Standard is a response to requests for easier activation and better compatibility with smaller businesses, adding:

Not every company wants to go through a full-scale enterprise deployment, and not every company is in a position to pay for Workplace.

We hope (Workplace Standard) helps grow the number of companies that we’re able to connect. They can use it in their team, they can use it in their department and maybe eventually go on to deploy Workplace Premium across the company, but with Workplace Standard, they can get started for free.

Cross also spoke with Richard Nieva of CNET, saying of potential adopters of Workplace Standard:

They want to just try it. They don’t want to necessarily commit.