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Facebook quietly launches Mac and PC Workplace Chat apps with screen share

Facebook quietly launches Mac and PC Workplace Chat apps with screen share
From TechCrunch - October 5, 2017

TechCrunch has discovered that Facebook has stealthily launched official desktop PC and Mac chat apps with screen sharingtwo features users have been begging for. Right now, theyre only available for Workplace, Facebooks enterprise collaboration software that competes with Slack and other business apps. But users would surely enjoy if the consumer Messenger app got its own desktop app and screen sharing options one day.

Workplace has more than14,000 businesses on board paying $1 to $3 per user, and recently signed up Wal-Mart. Screensharing could help Workplace attract more clients and disrupt the clunky screen sharing of enterprise apps like Skype and WebEx. Its clear that Facebook is applying its rapid development style in a bid to conquer offices with an all-in-one collaboration app while competitors only offer a piece of the puzzle.

Facebook bursts back into desktop software

Buried in the help section of Workplace, TechCrunch spotted a download link for the beta version of the Workplace Chat desktop app for both PC and Mac. It makes it easy to message with co-workers throughout the day without relying on a browser tab that can get lost amongst all your other tabs.

Workplace by Facebook spokesperson Vanessa Chan confirmed the launch of the desktop app to TechCrunch, saying, This was one of the most widely requested features by customers, so we built it. The desktop app is still in beta and being tested by Workplace customers who are providing feedback that well use to improve the product before a wider rollout.

The desktop app works similarly to Workplace Chats dedicated website, which in turn is modeled after Messenger.com. It provides a big dashboard of all your conversations, text search and the typical photo, video, voice clip, emoji, GIF and web cam sharing. You can also set up desktop notifications that ride over your other windows so you never miss a message.

Workplace Chat is one of Facebooks only pieces of desktop software besides its casual gaming platform Facebook Gameroom.Facebook tried offering a Messenger for Windows app in 2012 before shutting it down in 2014. Since then, several convincing butfake third-party desktop apps have proliferated. The Messenger team has been largely focused on mobile rather than desktop or even web features. Now that it has 1.3 billion monthly users, though, it could potentially explore desktop software to keep growing.

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