It's now been one year since Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) official launch of its platform for workplace collaboration. With Facebook often viewed as a place of distraction -- not productivity -- some investors may have been skeptical about how businesses would embrace the new platform. But an update from Facebook this week on the workplace collaboration platform's adoption with customers highlights a promising start.
Workplace, as Facebook calls it, has more than doubled in size in the last six months and some major companies have joined its ranks recently. And topping off its recent momentum, Facebook launched some major new features for Workplace this week, showing the company's commitment to continue investing in the platform.
Workplace: one year later
In a one-year update on Workplace on Thursday, Facebook said over 30,000 organizations are now using Workplace -- more than double the number of organizations using the platform six months ago. In addition, Facebook said these organizations have formed over 1 million groups.
Facebook has also garnered an impressive client base of major companies on Workplace, including Booking.com, Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, and Wal-Mart, to name a few.
While the leader in the work collaboration platform space, Slack, doesn't provide the same metrics on its business, Slack does say that it has 50,000 paying companies using Slack, 43 companies from the Fortune 100 list, and 9 million weekly active users.
Considering both companies metrics about the size of their platforms, an apples-to-apples comparison is impossible. But it's fair to say that Facebook's Workplace has grown into something meaningful enough for the social network to take the platform seriously.
An area of investment
Facebook investors should expect the social network to continue investing in Workplace. Indeed, considering Workplace's recent growth and Facebook's rapid product schedule for the platform lately, Facebook's one-year update on Workplace could be a sign that the social network about to invest more heavily in Workplace.
Facebook has kept up a fast tempo of product updates since it launched Workplace. Major features that debuted on the platform after Workplace's official launch included the ability to build custom chat bots for speeding up workflow, reactions and comments within Work Chat, mentions, GIF integration, live video streaming, interactive org charts, a growing suite of third-party integrations (Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), multi-company groups for collaboration, and more.
And on Thursday, Facebook said it is adding several new major features. First, Facebook launched a Workplace Chat desktop app. While Facebook has always offered mobile and browser versions of Workplace, the desktop app gives users all the same familiar features from the mobile app in a desktop design. Second, Facebook said it will release an update in the coming weeks that will enable group video chats on desktop and mobile. "People will soon be able to click a button and instantly start a video call for their team," Facebook said.
Workplace gives Facebook a way to diversify its revenue sources away from advertising. Free of ads, Facebook charges fees to organizations on a per-user basis. The progressive pricing model means that the more employees an organization has using Workplace, the less it costs. Beyond the free standard version, which is a limited version of Workplace for smaller organizations, Facebook charges $3 a month per user for the first 1,000 active users in an organization. The monthly cost drops to $2 a user for the next 9,000 users, and $1 per user beyond 10,000 users.
With Workplace growing into such a formidable product, investors should look for Facebook to increase its investment in the growing platform.