Facebook today officially announced the release of their Workplace business product. Originally titled Facebook at Work, the new product is set to compete head-on with other similar services like Slack and Hipchat. Riding off the familiarity that users already have with the social network, and its competitively low price-points, Workplace looks like it can be a contender in the business communications demographic…

Although its competitors have been around for a few years now, Facebook’s Workplace may have a chance to gain the traction among those who haven’t quite found their preferred platform yet. Its extremely competitive price may also be the thing that pulls businesses away from similar products. Slack’s standard plan is priced at $6.67 a month per-user, while Facebook’s offering is just $1 a month per-user. The difference here is that Slack does offer an unlimited plan for users to try indefinitely, but only the last 10,000 messages between a group are saved before they begin to disappear.

Although both products will compete with one another for business attention, both offer different solutions to similar problems. Part of Slack’s strength and aggressive growth has come from the fact that it has allowed for a large library of integrations. Users of Slack can integrate the services and products they already into their Channels to create their own all-in-one solutions. For now, Workplace is tightly kept within its own ecosystem.

Users on Workplace have a completely separate account from their usual Facebook; there is a clear separation between personal and work here. The Workplace News Feed is personalized to the company, and ads are non-existent, thus helping to create a clutter free News Feed. Voice and video calling also come standard with Workplace.

Facebook’s Workplace offers users the ability to create Groups for their teams to help keep the conversation driven in one direction. Possibly the most interesting feature here is the ability to collaborate with other companies that utilize Workplace in one Group. Essentially, two separate companies, that are both utilizing Workplace, can join together in one group to get work done together.

It will be interesting to see if Facebook decides to integrate their Messenger Platform’s bots into Workplace in the future. The lack of integration with third-party services may be one of the things that keeps users from moving to Workplace just yet.

Workplace is now available as a download for iOS in the App Store.

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