Sources: Meta is shutting down Workplace, its enterprise communications business | TechCrunch

Facebook once had big ambitions to be a major player in enterprise communication and productivity, but today the social network’s parent company Meta will be closing a very significant chapter in that story. TechCrunch has learned that Meta is shuttering Workplace, a version of Facebook that had been built to enable communication among business teams and wider organizations.

We have reached out to the company for comment but our sources tell us that the company plans to make an official announcement later today. The sources say that it will be business as usual on the platform until September 2025. Then it will be read-only until May 2026. Then, the service will be completely decommissioned.

Facebook according to an internal memo is recommending Zoom-owned Workvivo as a migration-ready alternative. Workvivo, another enterpise communication platform, was acquired by Zoom in 2023. We have the full Meta memo below.

It’s not clear yet how many employees will be impacted by the closure.

The change marks the end of a ten-year run for the product, which had big plans to bring a differentiated revenue stream to Facebook but ultimately found it too hard to compete against the likes of Slack and later Teams from Microsoft.

The division has been up in the air strategically for a while, so this should not come as too much of a surprise. We had even heard that in the wake of Covid, Meta was approached by outside investment firms to spin out the division as a standalone company that would then get outside investment.

Meta declined, a source said, primarily because Facebook (and now Meta) saw Workplace as a “strategic asset”. That was not because Workplace generates sales anywhere close to the billions Meta makes from advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, but because it was important for presenting a more diverse face to the market. And it helped Meta make a more diverse case to other stakeholders: for regulators, that it was more than just a too-powerful social network; and for organizations, that Facebook could do more for them than just sell ads.

“It helps make Facebook [and Meta] look like an adult,” the source said.

Clearly, the company’s priorities now, with its focus on AI, is changing, and so that could mean other reorganizations beyond this over time.

Some background on Workplace:

It was originally built out of how Facebook itself was using its flagship social network. It was already running a more closed version of Facebook for its own internal teams, and the company saw an opportunity to build that out as a product to target business users.

Its working title was Facebook @ Work and it was built out by a team out of London, headed up by Lars Rasmussen, once a co-creator of Google Maps who was brought on by Facebook and was working as the company’s head of engineering. (He long wanted to build an enterprise service at Facebook, and this was his baby.)

Eventually the product launched out of beta as Workplace and proceeded to build out a number of third-party integrations as Facebook saw an opportunity to create more productivity hooks for users around the basic purpose of communication.

Over time Workplace managed to pick up some very significant customers, but ultimately there was an unexpected curve in the road, however. Slack was a viral hit and was finding huge traction, which in turn spurred the creation of Teams from Microsoft. Workplace initially set out to hold its own against these, but eventually conceded ground and partnered with Teams for certain functionalities.

Over time a number of key employees building Workplace left, and a source tells us that the product never really recovered after Covid.

“Growth slowed down” after the pandemic, the source said, and with the company in somewhat of an identity crisis these days — after all, it’s not even called Facebook anymore, and it’s not even clear that Meta makes much sense either — “it also shows that it is being more decisive by killing all non-core projects.”

Memo follows below:

Dear Workplace admin,
Today, we’re sharing that we’ve made the difficult decision to close Workplace from Meta in 2026.

We understand that this decision will be disruptive to the businesses, organizations and partners that rely on Workplace every day. Our priority is to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Our current plans allow you to continue using Workplace as usual until August 31, 2025. Account management and customer support teams will remain available to address any questions or concerns you may have during this time. Additionally, Meta will be discounting Workplace by 50% starting September 1, 2024.

From September 1, 2025 until May 31, 2026, Workplace will be free of charge and only be accessible to read and download existing data, after which, access will be terminated and your Workplace instance will be deleted.
Download your information
To download your data, you can turn on the Download Your Information tool for your users so they can download their data directly from their Workplace settings. If you would like to export information from your Workplace, you can use the Workplace API.

While we appreciate you may already have an existing technology partner, Workvivo by Zoom is Meta’s only preferred migration partner, and we will be working with Zoom to provide additional tools and services to facilitate a better transition for customers from Workplace to Zoom’s Workvivo product.

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