Forget Slack -- Facebook Workplace Is Gunning For LinkedIn And Microsoft

Facebook Workplace is dominating the headlines and two things come to mind. First, it's premature to say that it's open to all, when it isn't. Everyone can now apply and be told to wait in line -- that's all that has changed today. The second thing is that this is a game-changer for Facebook, which has a far bigger target in its sight.

Is it me missing a point but I keep seeing how Facebook is gunning for Slack or Yammer? Yes, it kind of is, because each company setting up it's own Workplace page backed up by Messenger, staff members can communicate and privately message one another, in the same way they do with 'email-busting' services like Slack or Yammer.

However, isn't the real story that this is Facebook squaring firmly up against LinkedIn and its new owner, Microsoft? Just think about it. if colleagues want to message each other they may already be using Messenger or Whatsapp. So Workplace will not have the biggest impact there. It's unlikely that Facebook is particularly excited about providing free chat boxes for people to communicate through. Messaging is a hard medium to monetise, particularly in mobile where placing advertising around the conversation gets in the way.

Isn't this all about recruitment? Maybe with a fair measure of purchasing further down the line? Job hunting is surely the cash cow that Microsoft stumped up a massive $26bn for LinkedIn. The business-oriented social network is unashamedly all about connecting people while it keeps the proverbial lights on through recruitment revenue. Surely, that's the tie up that has caught Facebook's eye here? With Microsoft Cloud providing the software and LinkedIn providing the connections and recruitment (plus advertising) revenue, that's a powerful combination.

So messaging is hard to monetise, particularly on mobile's smaller screen, so apart from getting a whole lot more corporate activity to advertise against, the target for this widening up of Workplace has to be tapping into business needs, particularly recruitment. You can imagine there will also be a purchasing side to this too, through which Workplace companies could seek quotes from one another for products and services of any description. But the immediate gain of getting corporates o to a walled-garden Facebook for business service has to be hiring -- and that's why the headlines have probably missed the spot.

It may look like this is a move on Slack, or even email. That's only a part of the story, however. This is a move on Microsoft and LinkedIn that seems to have evaded most headline writers, for some strange reason? Or is it just me?

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