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Facebook

Facebook on Tuesday hosted its first global summit spotlighting a growing Workplace platform launched two years ago as a private social network for businesses.

While Facebook would not disclose exact figures, it said Workplace – a rival to collaboration services like Slack, Salesforce, and Microsoft – has been a hit and that ranks of users have doubled in the past eight to 10 months.

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The list of companies using Workplace included Walmart, Starbucks, Spotify, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic.

“It is growing very fast,” Workplace by Facebook vice president Julien Codorniou told AFP.

“We started with big companies, because that is where we found traction. It is a very good niche.”

Workplace is a separate operation from Facebook’s main social network and is intended as a platform to connect everyone in a company, from counter or warehouse workers to chief executives, according to Codorniou.

Workplace claimed that a differentiator from its competitors is that it connects all employees in businesses no matter their roles, even if their only computing device is a smartphone.

“That really resonates with a new generation,” Codorniou said of Workplace’s “democratic” nature.

“Millennials want to know who they work for and understand the culture of the company.”

He cited cases of top company executives using Workplace to get feedback from workers at all levels, bringing a small company feel to big operations.

Workplace is rolled out to everyone in companies, which then pay $3 monthly for each active user.