Facebook Workplace reaches 5 million paid users

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, February 15, 2020.

Christof Stache | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook announced Thursday that its Workplace enterprise software has now reached 5 million paid users, up from 3 million in October.

The company also announced new features for the communications product, saying interest in Workplace has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Covid changed everything and speeded up for us,” workplace vice-president Julien Codorniou told CNBC. “What was supposed to happen in five years just happened in two months.”

Workplace is a key part of Facebook’s long-term strategy to diversify its revenue, with Oculus virtual reality headsets and Portal video calling devices. The company’s “other revenue” segment, which includes Workplace, Oculus and Portal, accounted for almost 2% of all revenue in Facebook’s first quarter, compared to just over 1% a year earlier, said the company in its quarterly results. report.

“The workplace is the foundation … that teams like Oculus for Business and Portal can use or exploit as they join the company,” said Codorniou.

Workplace’s growth appears to be slower than that of its competitors in the enterprise communications software market, although the comparisons are not accurate.

Microsoft Teams, for example, now has more than 75 million daily active users, up from 44 million in mid-March, the company said in its third quarter results in late April. Zoom, meanwhile, rose from 10 million active daily participants to 300 million at the end of April. And Slack saw its concurrent users go from 10 million in early March to 12.5 million in late March, the company announced.

New features in Headlining Workplace are Workplace Rooms, a video calling feature that allows customers to host calls with up to 50 people. Workplace Rooms is based on the same technology behind the consumer product Facebook Rooms announced last month.

Facebook also announced improvements to Workplace’s live streaming features and the ability to use Portal TV for Workplace video calls.

Facebook also said on Thursday that its Oculus for Business service, announced in May 2019, is now out of the closed beta. Oculus for Business enables IT departments to deploy and configure multiple Oculus virtual reality headsets simultaneously.

“VR is a new type of computer,” Maria Fernandez Guajardo, director of Facebook Enterprise AR / VR, told CNBC. “It’s really a device where you can do all the computing in your life, from social to entertainment to work.”

Facebook is on a tear, publishing many new features since mid-March, targeting the nearly 3 billion people who have intensified their use of the various services of the social network amid orders for shelters on site. Earlier this week, the company announced Facebook Shops, making it easier for small businesses to upload their product catalogs to Facebook and Instagram.

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