Facebook Goes Big On Collaboration, Bots And AR

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Facebook's annual F8 developer conference is in progress, in San Jose, with the social media giant spreading its wings further with a bunch of new business and enterprise products and features announced. While bots aren't new to Messenger, they will be easier to find. And Workplace, Facebook's business collaboration platform, will come with a free mode.

Workplace will now come in two flavours - Premium and Standard. The Premium version is free until the end of September 2017 but then reverts to a pricing plan that will have Slack, Atlassian HipChat and Microsoft Teams rethinking their strategies.

The Standard version of Workplace will offer the full suite of end-user functions but will omit email support for admins and a bunch of back-end tools such as Single Sign-On and integrations with third-party services and APIs for custom integrations.

Premium pricing (in USD) is a very modest $3 per user for the first 1000 users, then $2 per user until you hit 10000 users with additional users each billed at $1 per month.

Facebook Messenger also gets some love with new extensions supporting both Apple Music and Spotify.

The new Spotify integration will let you open Spotify within Messenger, find a tune you like and share it as a playable track within a group chat. The Apple Music integration isn't ready yet but it expected to offer similar capability.

VR looks to be the next major battleground as Facebook Spaces is launched. The new service is in bea now and available for the Oculus Rift from the Oculus Store.

Based on what I've seen thus far, Facebook isn't pushing it as a major enterprise tool although there are clear business applications for VR.

You can watch the keynote here.


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