Facebook tests stand-alone Workplace Chat app

The Workplace Chat app for Macs and PCs comes a year after Facebook's launch of its social network for the enterprise

Credit: Peter Sayer

Now there's a Facebook Chat app for the enterprise. The social network has quietly published a standalone Workplace Chat app, a year after it launched its browser-based Workplace enterprise networking service.

The app, available for Windows and macOS, is still in beta testing, but anyone can download it from Facebook's Help Center. 

Initially known as Facebook at Work, Workplace by Facebook uses a similar interface to the company's consumer social network, but competes for the corporate collaboration market against services such as Slack.

Workplace comes in two versions, Standard and Premium. The Premium version allows corporations adopting it to use their own identity management service for logins, and to police content according to their own policies rather than Facebook's standard terms and conditions. Its use requires the creation of a corporate account, and individual logins using corporate email addresses.

The Workplace Chat app works with Standard and Premium versions of Workplace, and requires a corporate email address to log in.

There's already a chat function in the Workplace web interface, but the standalone app offers additional functions. These include delivery of notifications using the native interface of the OS, voice and video calling, and screen-sharing.

The Mac version (0.2.20) was compiled three weeks ago, and will run on versions of macOS from 10.9 (Mavericks) onwards.

The PC version requires Windows 7 or above and will install and run without administrator privileges.

Facebook says the app will autoupdate, so beta testers should automatically be provided with the final version.

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