Most media attention focused on the expansion of resources to tackle harmful content, when Facebook recently announced the creation of 1,000 new jobs in the UK. But with London representing Facebook’s largest software engineering hub outside the US and already home to 3000 employees focused on technology and product, it’s great to see that the world’s largest social media network is also creating new roles in its UC offering, in the offices they are building in London’s Kings Cross (scheduled to open in late 2021).
Social networking the professional way
Leveraging the social network interface with which we are all familiar to provide professional collaboration and connection features, Facebook Workplace has recently hit 3 million paid users (October 2019), since its beta launch just 3 years before. Karandeep Anand, Vice President, Workplace from Facebook, told us:
“Today we have companies of every size, in every industry and across all seven continents, connecting and collaborating on Workplace”
“From large enterprises such as Walmart, Nestle, GSK, Telefonica and Chevron, to small and medium-sized businesses like Honest Burgers, Valet Living and Ennismore. We also have millions of users at NGOs like Oxfam, World Wildlife Fund and the World Health Organization, doing important work on our platform through our Workplace for Good programme [Workplace is made available at zero cost to registered charities, educational organisations, and emergency services].”
While many of the 2.4 billion consumer users of the platform may have no idea that an alternative professional networking and collaboration tool exists within it, the close connections between the two are key to the rapid growth and adoption of the tools it offers, reducing friction in onboarding and uptake through its optimised UX and familiarity.
Innovation with investment
“We’re building a brand-new muscle for Facebook — a new B2B SaaS brand within one of the world’s biggest consumer companies,” Anand continues.
“We’re proud of our heritage, and proud of the fact that we’re Facebook’s only product fully built and run outside of California”
The investment in Workplace at a time when other UCaaS brands are showing some consolidation and retrenchment supports the growing maturation of the space, moving from the realm of the startup innovation to the core service provision, deservedly so as such collaboration platforms increasingly become the digital office — or workplace — of the modern organisation. Now integrating with popular SaaS tools like Jira Cloud by Atlassian, Microsoft Sharepoint, ServiceNow, Adobe Sign, SurveyMonkey, Google Drive, Zoom and Dropbox, Facebook Workplace is truly taking its position alongside the other big players in UC and collaboration, and with this increased investment it will be one to watch closely in 2020.
“We’re hiring and growing Workplace across every area of the business; product, engineering, sales and our go-to-market functions. Investing in our London teams means we can become even better at what makes us unique — connecting everyone within an organisation,” Anand concludes.
This is excellent news for the UK economy, and particularly for UC professionals hit by recent layoffs locally — with new opportunities to join a global brand with vast consumer revenues, determined to grow its market share of the demanding professional communications space.