It is a meta collaboration. Meta Platforms, Inc. (FB)—the company formerly known as Facebook—and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) are partnering to integrate their work collaboration software. The integration will enable content sharing and engagement between both applications.
Thus, users of Facebook’s Workplace app, now rebranded as Workplace from Meta, will be able to react and comment on content posted inside Microsoft’s Teams, while users of the latter app will be able to view videos posted in Workplace. Ujjwal Singh, Meta’s head of Workplace, told CNBC that the integration was requested by users at Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) and Accenture Plc (ACN).
- Microsoft’s Teams and Meta’s Workplace are integrating their work applications to provide access and engagement to office workers.
- The integration will enable users of Workplace from Meta to access and engage with videos inside Microsoft Teams and vice versa.
- Microsoft Teams boasts a bigger user base among the two products, but the partnership is expected to benefit both and accelerate the move toward an enterprise metaverse.
Workplace and Teams target different markets. Meta’s Workplace was introduced in October 2016 and is a company-wide social network that replicates the company’s consumer applications, while Microsoft’s Teams enables video conferencing.
Workplace already integrates into a number of other Microsoft applications like SharePoint, OneDrive, and the Microsoft 365 suite. Besides this, Microsoft also offers its own Workplace competitor in the form of Yammer, a social network similar to Facebook.
“One thing I’ve learned … there’s not going to be a one and only communications tool on the planet,” Jeff Teper, Microsoft head of 365 collaboration, told The Verge. According to him, office workers will shift between many tools, and it was up to “responsible vendors” to make sure they integrate and are interoperable.
A Partnership of Unequals
Workplace has a lot of ground to cover to reach the scale of Microsoft’s Teams. Growth figures for Microsoft Teams skyrocketed during the pandemic, and it had more than 145 million daily active users (DAUs) at the end of last year. Microsoft does not break out revenue from Teams, but estimates peg it at $6.8 billion in 2020.
Workplace by Meta reported 7 million paid subscribers in May 2021. Its revenue is lumped into the “Other” category of the company’s business, which includes Oculus and Portal hardware devices. In its latest quarter, that division reported $734 million in revenue, accounting for 2.5% of the company’s total earnings.
Announcement of the partnership accelerates the shift toward a remote workplace. Both companies recently announced ambitious forays into developing a metaverse—a collection of technologies that create a computer-simulated reality at home and work.
While Microsoft is more focused on creating an enterprise metaverse, Meta wants to create a platform that spans consumer and business applications. A partnership between the two companies creates a platform of offerings for consumers and multiplies the number of options available to them. But the integration also turns future competitors in the metaverse into collaborators. Very meta, indeed.