Meta signals the end of the road for Workplace

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Meta has outlined plans to retire Workplace, the enterprise social network it launched in 2016. 

Customers can continue to use the app until August 2025, after which access will be read-only. Workplace will then be decommissioned entirely in June 2026. 

The launch of Workplace eight years ago was Meta’s — then Facebook — first major foray into enterprise software, arriving amid a surge of interest in digital workplace tools lead by team chat app Slack. Workplace is essentially a business-friendly version of the Facebook consumer social network, with features such as group chat, live video, and knowledge library.

 In addition to desk workers, Workplace has in recent years been pitched at frontline workers. 

Despite negative perceptions about Facebook’s handling of consumer user data, it was successful in attracting many large enterprise firms to Workplace, including Astra Zeneca, McDonald’s, and Walmart. There were 7 million individual paid Workplace subscribers, according to Meta’s most recently published figures from 2021

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Nevertheless, Workplace makes up only a small proportion of the compny’s overall revenues and the software has clearly fallen down the priority list; development of new Workplace features has been at a virtual standstill for the past year or two. 

Meta has been quiet on Workplace for a while, said Beth Schultz, vice president of research and principal analyst at Metrigy. “So from that respect, the writing was on the wall, so to speak, especially considering the full-out effort the company is making on AI and metaverse initiatives,” she said.

Meta provided the following timeline for migration away from Workplace, according to a post on the Workplace admin site:

  • Until Aug. 31, 2025, users will be able to continue using Workplace as usual.
  • Sept. 1, 2025 to May 31, 2026: Workplace will only be accessible to read and download existing data.
  • June 1, 2026: User access will be terminated and a user’s Workplace will be deleted.
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 “We understand that this decision will be disruptive to the businesses, organizations and partners that rely on Workplace every day,” Meta said. “Our priority is to make the transition as smooth as we can.”

Workplace customers are being encouraged to migrate to “preferred partner” Workvivo — the employee experience app acquired by Zoom last year. 

“It’s our top priority to support customers through this transition, and our team is working to make this process as frictionless as possible,” John Goulding, Workvivo CEO and founder, said in a statement Tuesday. “We put our customers first, and this will be no different for the Workplace from Meta customers.”

On the upside, said Schultz, Meta seems to have given customers a good amount of time to migrate, “although it’s not clear how much, if any, help they’ll provide in the process.” 

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For companies that rely heavily on Workplace, the migration presents a “big change [and] management challenge,” said Schultz, with “disruption in how employees engage with each other and build cultural connection.

“Workvivo is a solid choice, but Workplace customers will need to do their due diligence on the platform before committing to its use,” she said. “This is a good reminder for enterprises, too, to be very clear with vendors about their support for data migration to a new platform.”

Collaboration Software, Facebook, Productivity Software

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