Facebook Workplace
Facebook
By Barb Darrow
April 6, 2017

Facebook will offer a free version of Workplace, its messaging service for businesses, that it hopes will challenge the hot rival Slack and the newer Microsoft Teams.

The new free version, announced by Facebook this week, joins a previously announced paid version that premiered last year.

Workplace is part a growing list of products trying to make it easier for business users to chat, share documents and photos with their select groups of their colleagues.

Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion users of its social networking site, has been trying to move more into business settings, where Microsoft (msft), Google (googl), and upstart Slack hold sway. As part of that push, Facebook recently announced a new feature for posting job notices that would compete with Microsoft’s LinkedIn business unit, for example.

The free standard version will offer one-to-one and group voice and video calling, streaming video, and chat for people with Apple (aapl) iOS or Android devices as well as those on desktop PCs. It will not include IT administrative and monitoring features, like single-sign on, and integration with other business applications like Google (goog) G Suite.

Those features all available in Workplace’s premium version, which costs either $1, $2, or $3 per active user per month based on total number of overall users, according to the company. The paid version is free till the end of September as a trial.

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When the free version will be available is unclear. Facebook only said this week that it would be coming “soon.”

A Facebook (fb) spokeswoman said the company hopes Workplace will connect everyone including people who only use mobile devices.

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