Facebook has quietly launched the desktop app of its team-collaboration service Workplace, called Workplace Chat. It is the latest of Facebook's moves to better compete with popular service Slack, which at present leads the market among enterprise collaboration tools.
Workplace Chat is now available on Windows and macOS desktop platforms. The Windows app, unlike the Web version of Workplace, also features screen sharing ability like Hangouts and Slack, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. Screen sharing allows customers to share what is on their desktop, a feature that comes in handy while showcasing a slideshow within a team, and to help bring other people in a team get to speed with something.
The company told the news outlet that availability on the desktop platform and the ability to share screen with others have been the most requested features by Workplace customers. The desktop client is still in beta, the company said, adding that it would listen to the feedback to "improve the product before a wider rollout." As TechCrunch notes, Workplace Chat is one of the rare desktop applications from Facebook. The company maintained a desktop client for Messenger, but then it discontinued it.
Workplace Chat is one of Facebook's only pieces of desktop software besides its casual gaming platform Facebook Gameroom.
Facebook's Workplace competes with Slack, which earlier this week locked a major deal with Oracle, and Microsoft Teams, which as of last month was bring used by 125,000 organisations. The company also recently announced that it was replacing Skype for Business with Microsoft Teams. In comparison, Slack has more than six million daily customers.
The social juggernaut has been aggressively expanding the offering of Workplace to match Slack's features. Earlier this year, Facebook announced a free tier of Workplace to lure more customers.