Facebook is offering its workplace chat service for free to emergency services and government organizations to help fight the spread of coronavirus.
- Facebook is offering the premium version of Workplace Advanced, its cloud software for businesses, for free to emergency services and government organizations for 12 months, to help those fighting the spread of coronavirus.
- Workplace Advanced essentially gives companies an internal version of Facebook for their own use.
- Facebook's free offering of Workplace is one of several steps it has taken aimed at helping combat the coronavirus pandemic.
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Facebook is offering the premium version of its workplace chat service, Workplace Advanced, for free to emergency services and government organizations for 12 months. This is part of the social media company's ongoing efforts to help fight the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
Workplace Advanced is Facebook's product that competes with workplace chat apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams. The app basically gives customers their own internal version of Facebook, complete with video calling, groups, file sharing, instant messaging and even a News Feed. Some public organizations already using the product include the Government of Singapore, London Fire Brigade, and Ambulance Victoria.
Interested agencies and government organizations have until June 30, 2020 to sign up, and after the one free year, teams have the option to move to a free or paid tier of the product. Like many productivity applications, Workplace has a free tier that anyone can use, and then paid versions with more features.
Facebook's free offering of Workplace is one of several steps it has taken aimed at helping combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Washington Post reported this week that Facebook, Google and other major tech companies are talking with the US government about using people's location data from apps and smartphones to track the spread of COVID-19.
On Monday, Facebook said it and other major social media companies are working with government health agencies to fight misinformation on their platforms. Facebook has also banned ads for products claiming to cure the coronavirus.
The moves come amid a massive spike in harmful and misleading content surrouding the virus, which the World Health Organization has called an "infodemic," that is testing tech companies' ability to identify and remove misinformation. Already this week, Facebook showed some signs of strain a bug in its spam filters accidentally blocked users from posting some articles from legitimate news sites.
Additionally, other workplace chat apps are also taking measures to help those trying to mitigate the effects of coronavirus. Slack is offering teams helping the coronavirus response its paid product for free, and Microsoft Teams is offering users free six-month trials of the premium version of its Teams chat app.