Meta’s upcoming shutdown of Workplace, its team collaboration platform, comes as no surprise.

Recently, Meta has kept busy fashioning itself into a company focused tightly on artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse. While that has been taking place, Workplace has drifted off the radar screen. No press releases touting new features have been issued recently. The platform has received no mention on earnings calls or within detailed financial results.

What is surprising is that Meta did not throw Workplace a longer lifeline. AI has rapidly become a fixture on team collaboration platforms with competitors adding AI-driven capabilities platform-wide. Meta’s new Llama 3 LLM and Meta AI assistant would be ideally suited for Workplace. In addition, Meta’s Horizon Workrooms (which allows employees to gather in a virtual space and access replicas of colleagues and collaboration tools such as whiteboards, calendars, and file sharing apps) from the metaverse side of the business complements Workplace nicely and could continue to buoy sales.

Meta should be commended

Despite making the decision to pull the plug on Workplace, Meta should be commended for rolling out an extended runway for customers to exit the platform and for sweetening pricing along the way. Until August 31, 2025, the platform can be used as usual. From September 1, 2025 until May 31, 2026, Workplace will only be accessible to read and download existing data.

During that time, the platform will be free of charge (from September 1, 2024 through August 31, 2025, Meta will be discounting Workplace by 50%). As of June 1, 2026, access will be terminated, and all instances deleted. With Meta currently in high-efficiency mode and scrutinizing every part of the business, there certainly was incentive to install a tight timeframe.

With Workplace being stagnant for some time and now progressively dissolving, the impact on rivals is highly blunted. For competitors such as Microsoft, Google, and Cisco, which have been continually entrenching themselves among the leaders in team collaboration, it will be business as usual (and the high standard they have set certainly contributed to Meta voting to cut its losses and depart the scene).

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Zoom is a winner

However, if there is a winner to be crowned, it would have to be Zoom, which stands to gain the lion’s share of Meta’s customers as Zoom’s Workvivo employee engagement platform has been designated by Meta as its only preferred migration path.

As of 2021, Meta boasted more than seven million paid Workplace subscribers (and still advertises that figure), thus migration volumes could potentially be significant. The story is not yet closed as more details are to be furnished, presumably soon. But that should prove to be merely an epilogue, not a new chapter.