Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Facebook’s Workplace, its Slack-like collaboration and chat tool targeted at businesses, now has more than 5 million paid users, up from 3 million in October, Facebook announced today. That growth in users is due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has required many people to rely more on software tools while working from home.
Many collaboration apps have also seen growth since the pandemic. In March, Slack said that it had surpassed more than 12.5 million concurrent users, for example, and Microsoft Teams hit 75 million daily active users in April, a jump of 70 percent since the month before. However, those metrics indicate both Slack and Teams have more users than Facebook’s Workplace, even if they aren’t comparing apples to apples, as Teams is bundled into Microsoft’s broader enterprise offerings and Slack has been around for far longer than Workplace.
There are also new features that will roll out for Workplace, including a videoconferencing service called Workplace Rooms, automatic live captioning in six languages for Workplace Live video, and the ability to use the Portal TV for Workplace video calls.
Most of Facebook’s workforce will be able to request to work remotely permanently, the company also announced today, and The Verge’s Casey Newton spoke with CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the decision. Facebook follows Twitter, Square, Spotify, Shopify, and Coinbase in creating a permanent work-from-home policy.