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Workplace by Facebook now has two million paid users

Workplace by Facebook has surpassed the 2 million paid user mark, establishing the social network’s reputation in the software-as-a-service space.

The platform, which provides a professional version of Facebook, launched in beta in 2015 and has since attracted a number of global clients. Some 150 companies with over 10,000 users have signed up to the premium, ad-free version of the platform since it launched 16 months ago.

“This is testament to the fact that customers see us as a credible software-as-a-service player now,” Karandeep Anand, the head of Workplace, told NS Tech. “Being able to serve the likes of Walmart through to Spotify tells a story about how it works for [a large range of businesses].”

Anand started at Workplace, which is based in Facebook’s London office, earlier this year. He joined Facebook four years ago from Microsoft, where he had worked on a number of software services.

Last month, the company revealed Nestlé had signed up around 210,000 employees to the service, which represents Facebook’s answer to collaboration tools such as Slack and Yammer. Telefonica, GSK, Vodafone, Delta, Chevron and Heineken are among some of the firm’s other major clients.

Facebook did not disclose the size of the deal with Nestlé, but the pricing system is typically on a user-by-user basis, with businesses with over 10,000 employees paying $1 per employee.

In January, NS Tech revealed that NHS patients champion HealthWatch England had become the first UK government agency to sign up for Workplace. HealthWatch is in the process of rolling out the service to its network of 152 local centres, where staff and volunteers will use it to communicate with one another, and access advice and support.

The new user figures were announced just days after CNBC reported that one of Facebook’s former employees, Rousseau Kazi, had built a direct competitor to Workplace. The service, called Threads, offers a number of features Kazi wished Workplace provided.

“We have a similar core product, but Workplace is more like Facebook,” he told the business news site. “It feels like a social network. Our product is built from the ground up and designed for work teams in mind.”