Article: Meta pulls the plug on Workplace, its enterprise social network

Employee Engagement

Meta pulls the plug on Workplace, its enterprise social network

The social networking giant is discontinuing its enterprise-focused platform in 2026, shifting priorities towards artificial intelligence and metaverse technologies.
Meta pulls the plug on Workplace, its enterprise social network

Meta (formerly Facebook) has announced the closure of Workplace, its enterprise-focused social network. Designed to enhance internal communication and collaboration within organisations, Workplace will be phased out over the next two years, with a final shutdown slated for June 1st, 2026.

Launched in 2016, Workplace mirrored the familiar features of Facebook's consumer platform, adapting them for professional use. While it garnered a dedicated user base of 7 million paying subscribers as of May 2021, it ultimately fell short of Meta's broader ambitions.

According to HR industry analyst Josh Bersin, Meta's decision to shutter Workplace marks a significant shift in the enterprise landscape.  He noted in his blog that Workplace, originally known as Facebook@Work, had garnered over 7 million corporate users and found particular success with remote and deskless workers.

However, with Meta's evolving priorities focused on AI and the metaverse, Bersin believes the company is effectively exiting the "corporate applications" business, ceding the market to competitors like Zoom, Microsoft, Slack, and others.

Why the closure?

Meta's decision to abandon the app coincides with its hefty investments in advancing the metaverse and AI technologies, alongside substantial job cuts in other divisions. Just last April, the company unveiled new AI-powered chatbots, which the company believes will revolutionise the way we work.

This strategic shift aligns with Meta's broader vision for the future of work, where AI and virtual environments play a more prominent role.

The rise of competing platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, combined with a post-pandemic slowdown in Workplace's growth, likely contributed to the decision.

The platform will remain fully operational until August 31st, 2025. From September 1st, 2025, to May 31st, 2026, Workplace will be accessible in a read-only mode, allowing users to download or review their data.

To facilitate migration, Meta has partnered with Zoom's Workvivo, a similar enterprise social networking platform.  A 50% discount on Workplace subscriptions will be offered starting September 1st, 2024, and the platform will be free from September 1st, 2025, until its final shutdown on June 1st, 2026.

Users are encouraged to download their data using the Download Your Information tool or the Workplace API before the platform's closure.

Looking ahead

The closure of Workplace marks a pivotal moment in Meta's enterprise strategy, highlighting a clear prioritisation of AI and metaverse technologies. While Workplace may not have achieved the widespread success Meta envisioned, its legacy could shape the development of future workplace collaboration tools.

The decision has generated mixed reactions from users, with some expressing disappointment and others embracing the opportunity to explore alternative solutions. Ultimately, the fate of the Workplace serves as a reminder of the ever-evolving landscape of enterprise technology and the ongoing quest for innovative solutions to enhance workplace communication and productivity.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, #BusinessTransformation

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