Workplace by Facebook has been an essential tool for many businesses to stay connected with their professional peers over the years. Especially during the pandemic, when everyone was under lockdown, Workplace played a vital role to keep employees engaged with their company and colleagues.
Although the growth of Facebook’s internal networking platform has spiked in the past few months, it also means more resource requirements to keep the enterprise network online. Therefore, the social media giant announced today that they are going to remove the free access features from Workplace, from February next year.
The free access option, commonly known as the Workplace Essential Plan, will cease to exist from February 10, 2021, as announced by Facebook. The platform explained that they are aware businesses use the platform to communicate with each other, which is why they will help such businesses keep access to these services by upgrading to a plan that will “unlock advanced features such as Insights and single sign-on (SSO), as well as access to live chat support”.
Facebook also mentioned that they have big plans for next year regarding Workplace. In 2021, Facebook claims to increase its focus on collaboration and productivity. Following that, they will be introducing features focusing on remote work, the well-being of employees in the Workplace, enhanced video conferencing features, and support for small-sized businesses.
If a business decides to discontinue its access once the change are in place, Facebook will help admins to download all their workplace data locally. Further, Facebook hopes that such users can continue with its other services like Groups and WhatsApp, to stay connected with their peers after the transition.
It will be interesting to see how this will affect businesses who are not planning to go with the paid plan; at the same time it opens up new opportunities to find better alternatives for businesses to keep in touch with their employees.