Facebook launched desktop chat applications with screen sharing capabilities for PCs and Macs, a tool TechCrunch uncovered Thursday. The app is similar to Workplace’s website, offering a dashboard of multimedia sharing, conversations and text searches in a "preferred spot" on users’ computers.
Facebook launched screen sharing within a year of Workplace’s launch, whereas Slack took over four years to debut its own version of the feature, according to TechCrunch. Workplace has prioritized privacy in the tool by allowing users to select specific desktops to share.
The release of the application and new functions comes in response to widespread customer requests, and it is still being tested by Workplace users in a beta form, said Vanessa Chan, Facebook spokesperson, in an interview with TechCrunch.
The addition to Workplace comes days before the one-year anniversary of the formal launch of the enterprise social tool on Oct. 10. From its inception, Workplace benefited from Facebook’s already large engineering and development departments, a perk Slack, for example, did not have. With billions of Facebook users worldwide, Workplace also benefits from widespread familiarity of the company’s platforms.
Workplace added Walmart to its clientele in September, a big move for the communication platform as it tries to hold its own against competitors. Microsoft joined the enterprise communication platform market one month after Facebook, and, like the social media giant, has been capitalizing on its existing presence in the enterprise to challenge Slack and Atlassian. Google is the freshest player to the market, having revamped its collaboration tool, Hangouts, in March.
The combination of tech powerhouses and collaboration-centered companies has turned the enterprise communication market into a hot competition, with each player vying to keep up with the tools of its competitors while debuting novelties of their own. Companies looking to facilitate a collaborative and open workforce are reaping the benefits.