With more people working from home, internal networking platforms have seen a big rise in usage, and a beneficiary of that growth has been Facebook Workplace, its enclosed, enterprise network system which provides familiar Facebook tools for internal collaboration.
Indeed, Workplace went from three million paid users in October last year to five million in May, with new features like video chat rooms, groups, and connection with Portal home devices providing beneficial options for collaboration when managing remote teams.
And Facebook is clearly happy with that growth, as today, The Social Network has announced that it’s removing its free access option, which it offered, initially, to help boost Workplace take-up.
As explained by Facebook:
“In order to maintain the high quality product experience people expect from Workplace, we have decided to retire our free plan, Workplace Essential, from February 10, 2021.”
Facebook will now push all businesses on the Essential plan to move over to its paid options, which could see Workplace add a lot more subscribers very fast. I mean, if you’ve already come to rely on the platform, you’re probably not likely to switch it off, unless the pricing is way beyond your reach.
For those businesses that do up their plan, Facebook says that it will offer additional features:
“Such as Insights and single sign-on (SSO), as well as access to live chat support.”
For those that don’t want to make the switch, Facebook will provide tools to help system admins download their Workplace data to keep their internal information secure.
As noted, Workplace has seen significant growth in 2020, and with the WFH trend opening many organizations’ eyes to the possibility of remote teams, many are predicting that this will be the future of work, at least in some form. That will likely see Workplace continue to expand – and if it can add more paid subscribers, and demonstrate its growth, that could also help to boost its prospects.
Facebook says it’s also working on new features for Workplace, including employee wellbeing tools, improved live video options and more.
It seems like a good time to make the switch, and capitalize on the WFH shift. And that could help Facebook build another key element within its ever-expanding empire.
New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work
Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.
As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.
That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.
That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.
That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.
Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.
But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.
Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.
But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.
Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.
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