Facebook Launches Work Chat, Competes Directly With Slack

December 10, 2015 - 2 minutes read

Facebook at workFacebook recently launched Work Chat, a direct messaging feature within the Facebook at Work app. Facebook at Work has been in use for a while now since it’s public announcement last January, currently listing hundreds of startups and companies worldwide including big names like Heineken among its fanbase.

Adding advanced chat features to the app signals that Facebook mobile app developers are striving to bring a sense of personal connection and fun to the already highly social app, bringing the service into direct competition with the other big player in the fun/social workplace communication scene: Slack.

Commentary on the web has been quick to point out the similarities between the new Facebook at Work features and Slack. Given that Slack is heavily entrenched in startup culture as the go-to workplace email replacement, it’s needless to say that Facebook will be fighting an uphill battle as they try to compete with virtually the same feature set.

To their advantage, the Facebook at Work app offers a more broad social experience than Slack, and the added convenience of integration with users’ current personal Facebook accounts. (Unless they’re one of the ten people left that still don’t’ have profiles on the social network.)

To their disadvantage, simple and focused apps tend to perform well when it comes to winning users, and Slack has a very simple premise: get rid of work email clutter. Their advanced chat and search features have already been field-tested by thousands of companies, making them a safe bet for startups and New York mobile app developers that want to spend less time on features and more time on getting work done.

Integration with dozens of other services (and the thousands more by proxy via API-driven services like Zapier) also offer an edge to Slack, bringing a particular appeal to the tech and mobile app developer crowd.

Work Chat is currently available via Google Play, albeit only to companies currently testing Facebook at Work.

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