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Facebook Announces New Tools for Workplace, Including Bots

Two weeks after announcing a new freemium version of their ‘Workplace’ professional platform, Facebook has unveiled a new set of updates to make their business offering more appealing.

First up, Facebook’s announced a new group of Workplace integrations to make file-sharing on the platform more efficient. Partnering with Box, Microsoft and Quip, the new system will enable users to see thumbnail images of content within a shared file, while they’ll also be able to easily click through to make quick edits and changes.

In addition to this, Facebook’s also bringing bots to Workplace.

Yes, bots, like those ones on Messenger which they’re also working to promote.

In Workplace, users will be able to build bots which can interact with other tools in the app to facilitate simple tasks, including within group conversations.

In groups, you can @mention a bot to initiate a task or workflow. The bot can take action and reply back with relevant information. In chat, you can message a bot to request information or take an action. Bots can also start conversations to send you important notifications.”

Facebook says their own team has built over 100 bots which have improved their day-to-day workflows, including:

  • Our recruiting team built a Work Chat bot that sends interviewers a notification 30 minutes before a scheduled interview with all the information they need to provide a great candidate experience.
  • Teams are quickly able to create tasks in our internal tool by mentioning a bot in group posts or comments.
  • When guests sign in at reception, a bot notifies the host so they can go and meet their guest.

The inclusion of the ability to @mention bots in a group chat is interesting, as this is currently not available within Messenger – though Messenger chief David Marcus has said it’s something they’ll consider if they see demand.

In addition to these new tools, Facebook’s also announced new partnerships with “several of the industry's leading cloud compliance, e-discovery and data loss prevention providers” to help provide additional assurance on the security of Workplace, while they’ve also announced support for higher quality live-streaming tools within Workplace to enhance live video communications.

While there's been some hesitance by organizations to put more reliance on Facebook and utilize it as an internal platform, Facebook says that over 14,000 businesses are now using the tool, and their addition of a freemium version will no doubt give more companies the motivation to check it out. They may have their work cut out for them in challenging the existing enterprise social players like Slack, but these latest moves show that it’s becoming a serious option.

Maybe worth considering for your business. 

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