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Walmart joins ‘Workplace by Facebook,’ boosting social giant’s collaboration tools

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Facebook just notched a big win for its collaboration tool Workplace by Facebook, landing the nation’s largest employer, Walmart.

Typically, these types of tolls are associated with office workers. But Walmart is deploying the tool not just for executives, but associates in its more than 5,000 stores.

Here’s how Walmart will use the tool, according to a Facebook blog post:

Sam’s Club associates are sharing best practices by posting pictures of their in-store product displays. Leaders at Walmart use features like Live to connect directly with associates and share important news and updates, from company earnings to store visits. Teams at Walmart are using Workplace to collaborate, manage projects, learn and develop. Translation features on Workplace have also helped increase communication at Walmart, facilitating better collaboration among associates in multiple geographies.

Facebook said 14,000 companies use its Workplace collaboration tools, which debuted approximately 10 months ago. Facebook is competing with many of the world’s top tech companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google as well as upstarts like Slack in the collaboration market.

Microsoft has invested heavily in its collaboration tool, Teams. Microsoft said this week that Teams will eventually replace Skype for Business as the company’s primary tool for all calls, video conferences and meetings for customers using Office 365 in the cloud. Earlier this month, Microsoft said Teams is now being used by 125,000 organizations, up from 50,000 at its March launch.

Slack just raised a $250 million funding round, valuing it at $5 billion. Earlier this month, Slack said it now has 9 million weekly active users, with 55 percent of them coming from outside the U.S. Earlier this summer the company surpassed 50,000 paid teams and 2 million paid users.

As it battles Amazon in the retail world, it has embraced technology in its stores and throughout the organization. It has made a big push in online retail, making major acquisitions like Jet.com and Bonobos.

Walmart is deploying technology that allows shoppers to purchase items in-store without waiting in line or paying at a register, manual version of Amazon Go, a check-out free grocery store that launched in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle last year but remains in private beta testing limited to the company’s employees.

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