November 8, 2019
Workplace by Facebook is placing their bets on a future where video chat between workers will be more commonplace than sending an email.
By 2025, about 70 percent of the workplace will be comprised of millennials, Workplace by Facebook Vice President Julien Codorniou explained. With younger people entering the workforce, the methods of communicating will change.
"These are people who are mobile-only," Codorniou told Cheddar at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. "They don't know how to use emails. They probably don't know what the internet is, but they use videos every day with their friends and with their family. They will have the expectation to have a voice at work of course, but also to use a medium they know how to use and they are familiar with. We think video is that."
Workplace by Facebook provides a digital collaboration tool that allows employees to communicate, competing against Slack and Microsoft Teams among others. The company currently had three million paid users.
Because it is integrated with Facebook, it automatically has 2.5 billion people who know how to use the application from day one. The name recognition of its parent company is also allowing it to integrate with companies like PwC, ServiceRocket, and Blue Jeans for additional capabilities.
Workplace by Facebook recently announced integration with Portal, Facebook's smart screen and speaker. It also added features like automatic video caption, faster high-quality video streaming, and on-demand capabilities. Facebook already has a lot of credibility in the video space, so investing in these functions made sense, Codorniou said.
"When you look at all the investments and the infrastructure it has to serve millions of people, if we do a good job of bringing [video] to the enterprise, adapting it to the enterprise, and packaging it to the enterprise just like we do with Workplace and we do with Portal, we believe we can be very credible player in the video world," he said.
More than video, Workplace by Facebook sees an opportunity to connect everyone in a company from the CEO to the factory worker to people who never had a desk or email address before.
"The way people will communicate at work will change, but more importantly we'll see a lot of frontline employees," Codorniou said. "People who work on planes, ships, firefighters, factory workers. People who have been overlooked or ignored by traditional SaaS (software as a service) vendors. This is what the biggest change we'll see [in the workplace] in the next few years."