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Meta Workplace Shutting Down: How It Impacts Your Business

by Aware

Following the announcement from Meta that they are sunsetting their Workplace enterprise social network on August 31, 2025, many customers are left wondering how this will impact their organization, what technology they should evaluate to replace Workplace, and what factors they need to consider as they prepare for the move. This post outlines what we know about the Meta Workplace shutdown, assesses the top Workplace alternatives, and provides you with guidance as you build your transition plan.

Contents

Why is Workplace shutting down?


In a statement announcing the shutdown, a Meta spokesperson explained they were closing the Workplace platform, which had 7 million paid subscribers in 2021, “So we can focus on building AI and Metaverse technologies that we believe will fundamentally reshape the way we work.”

Workplace served as a “Facebook at work,” providing social networking and internal communications features for some of the world’s leading companies on a platform that was familiar to employees because of its similarity to the social media site. Workplace is particularly favored by organizations with large frontlines, as it gives employees a convenient, familiar way to connect in a centralized platform that enables top-down communications and fosters engagement.

The imminent shutdown will cause untold disruption to current Workplace customers, but IT and comms teams can minimize the disruption by easing the transition to a new long-term alternative solution.

Is there a timeline for the Workplace shutdown?


Workplace will retain full functionality until August 31, 2025, after which its data will be available for download or accessible in a read-only format. After June 1, 2026, Workplace will be completely retired, and all data will be deleted.

While this may seem like a generous timeline, for companies with thousands of employees currently using Workplace, migrating them all to a new platform may not be fast or straightforward.

Per Meta’s current timeline, Workplace will enter a discounted period from September 1, 2024, when the platform price will be reduced by 50%. After August 31, 2025, Meta access will be free until the final shutdown date. Customers who purchased Workplace through a Meta partner such as LineZero should contact them with billing questions.

How does the shutdown affect data stored on Workplace?


Both users and administrators of Workplace will have an opportunity to download their data from the platform before it is permanently deleted.

Workplace users:

Users can download their individual data, including profile information, post history, and chat messages. The ability to download this data will end on May 31, 2026. Until then, a Download Your Data button will be available in the settings of your Workplace account, unless this feature has not been activated by your Workplace admin.

Workplace admins:

System admins can export data from their Workplace instance using the Workplace Graph API or a third-party vendor like Aware. Admins can also enable or disable the ability for individual users to download the data they created in Workplace. Workplace data is available for download until May 31, 2026, after which it will be deleted. Admins can also choose to remove their Workplace data before this date by deleting their organization’s account.

What are the alternatives to Workplace?

Deciding on the right alternative to Workplace will depend on the needs of your organization. Since the pandemic, many companies have embraced digital collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams to enable remote work, and it may make more sense to consolidate employee communication tools rather than seek out a like-for-like replacement.

For other organizations, especially those that are frontline-dominant, finding an alternative to Workplace that matches its capabilities and end user experience will be the most pressing concern. These organizations currently have two clear candidates: Microsoft’s Viva Engage platform (formerly Yammer), and Zoom’s Workvivo product, which is Meta’s preferred migration partner.

Drawbacks of using Workvivo—Meta’s designated alternative

Workvivo was founded in 2017 and acquired by Zoom in April 2023. Workvivo provides a number of leading companies, including Amazon, Dollar General, and Virgin with an employee experience platform that looks and feels very similar to the Workplace user experience. However, migrating to Workvivo does have some drawbacks for organizations considering the move.

  • Fewer Integrations—Workvivo has approximately half the number of integrations of Workplace
  • Safety Center—Workvivo’s emergency check-in capabilities are less robust than Meta’s
  • Bots and Automations—Workvivo lacks any kind of AI-assistance or task automation
  • Migration Support—Currently, there is no migration tool available to transfer from Workplace to Workvivo

Workvivo says artificial intelligence automations are on its 2024 roadmap, as is a migration tool created in partnership with Meta to support organizations switching between the platforms. However, these features are not currently available, a fact that should be taken into consideration when choosing a new enterprise social network.

How to create a transition plan

To successfully transition between comms and collaboration tools requires scoping your needs and expectations for the move. These steps will help guide you as you prepare:

Evaluate Workplace usage

Before deciding on an alternative to Meta Workplace, understand how your employees currently use the platform. What features are essential to have in a new communications platform, and which go unused? How do employees engage with the platform, and what will it take to keep that engagement following a transition?

Backup Workplace data

Whether you ultimately decide to move to a new platform or not, a transition away from Workplace is unavoidable, and that means addressing what to do with the data currently stored in the platform. For many businesses, Workplace is much more than a place to wish employees happy birthday. It’s a vital part of the onboarding process, a repository of company documentation, and a living history key moments in the company’s history.

Assigning value to this data, deciding what to keep and what to purge, and then backing it up in the most accessible format is an important part of any transition plan.

Assess Workplace alternatives

Once you understand how your company currently uses Workplace, and what functionality your comms and employee experience teams prioritize in the platform, you can more accurately assess which alternative is the best fit for your organization. Ensure you consult all stakeholders to check the box on all the features and capabilities the new platform needs. This may require input from legal, compliance, security and other departments.

Create a transition timeline

Moving hundreds or thousands of employees onto a new platform is not a small task and will require careful coordination. Outline each step of the transition, decide how it will be communicated to employees and enforced, and be sure to leave time within the plan for unexpected hiccups. While Meta Workplace will still be available through the end of August 2025, it makes sense to aim to transition earlier to ensure you aren’t left scrambling.

Partner with Aware to protect your Workplace data

As an approved partner of Meta, Zoom, Microsoft, Slack, and more, Aware is well positioned to support your transition away from Workplace and to a new platform such as Workvivo, Viva Engage, Slack, or Teams. We’re trusted by some of Workplace’s leading organizations, from the smallest to the largest, and a majority of Workplace users today also integrate with Aware for data security, management, and discovery.

Workplace from Meta gives us an important community hub where anyone can ask a question and get answers from the right person, without needing to know who to approach. Without Aware, we wouldn’t be able to meet the security and compliance requirements necessary to maintain Workplace and protect our people.”Vincent Trousseau, Digital Workplace Manager, Oxfam International  

Aware can help your organization to evaluate and download your Workplace data and store it in a search-ready, defensible archive, empowering leaders from HR and comms to legal and compliance in extracting value while mitigating risks. Using Aware, businesses can quickly identify and isolate the most important data from Workplace, ensuring valuable information is preserved while reducing the costs associated with storing and managing their entire archive.

From an intuitive centralized platform, Aware customers can apply the same granular controls over Workplace data to tools across their collaboration stack, taking a unified approach to information security using industry-leading NLP and AI built and trained on this dataset. Aware’s sentiment scoring has been proven to outperform all leading competitors, including Meta, Microsoft, and Google, while proprietary ML models monitor data in real time, surfacing more instances of sensitive data sharing, noncompliance, and acceptable use violations with fewer false positives.

Contact us today to learn how Aware can help you download and archive your Workplace data, support your transition to a new platform, and secure your entire collaboration stack.

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Topics:Workplace from Meta ESN