Facebook eyes paid Workplace feature expansion, ends free tier

Facebook will remove the free tier for its Workplace enterprise social network and encourage users to upgrade to paid versions — or switch to its consumer services.

Facebook launched Workplace in 2016 and has attracted 5 million paid users, according to data from May, up from 3 million in October 2019, though there is no information available on the number of free users. Workplace has proved popular among enterprise customers, with large organizations such as Nestle and Telefonica deploying the app company-wide.

Facebook introduced the Workplace Essential tier last year as part of a revamp of its pricing, though it has provided a free version of the application since launch. The Essential tier offers limited functionality and storage space, for example, with additional features such as single sign-on and analytics available in Advanced and Enterprise products.

Businesses using Workplace Essential will be given until Feb. 10 to upgrade to a paid tier or migrate their data off the platform.

Those that plan to leave Workplace can find advice on downloading their data at the Workplace Help Center. Facebook said it’s encouraging Essentials customers to upgrade to a paid Workplace plan or adopt Facebook Groups and WhatsApp for communication and collaboration needs. There are now 20 million people using Groups for work purposes, the company said.

There are no planned changes to the paid tiers, a spokesperson said, and Facebook will continue to offer the application to education and non-profit organizations for free. Facebook’s Advanced tier costs $4 per user each month, while the Enterprise tier is $8 per user per month. The company also offers a free, 30-day trial for the Advanced tier for users who want to try it out. (More detailed pricing information is available here.)

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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