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Workplace, Facebook’s Slack rival, adds desktop chat app

The company is adding on to its year-old workplace collaboration tool, now used by 30,000 organizations, in hopes of better competing with darling rival Slack.


Facebook's Workplace service is expanding its chat feature. 


A year ago, Facebook released Workplace, its answer to the popular collaborative tool Slack. Early Thursday, Facebook said it's expanding the software's chat capabilities.

Workplace's chat feature has always had mobile and browser components, but Facebook is adding a desktop app. From it, employees can do screen sharing, file sharing and video chat. It's available for Mac and PCs, as well as iPhones and Android phones.

The social network said there are more than 30,000 organizations using Workplace, including Walmart, Lyft and Spotify. Facebook also said it's redesigning the look of the software, and adding group video chat in the "coming weeks."

The war over collaborative software supremacy has become an inexplicably heated battle in Silicon Valley. Slack, launched in 2013 by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, is a favorite in tech and media offices. Earlier this year, Microsoft launched its own version of workplace software called Microsoft Teams.

In April, Facebook introduced a free version of Workplace, in addition to the premium version. The paid version costs $3 per user for the first 1,000 active users, $2 each for the next 9,000 active users after that, and $1 each for anyone on top of that.

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