Facebook launches ‘Workplace,’ a business version of Facebook

Sign in Facebook headquarters with signatures of the comapny's original employees. Palo Alto, CA June 24, 2009.

NEW YORK (AP) — You probably already use Facebook at work. Now, Facebook is creating a separate version aimed at helping you do actual work instead of catching up on baby photos and political chatter.

Facebook is launching a communications tool Monday for businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. Called Workplace, the platform is ad-free and isn’t connected to existing Facebook accounts. Instead, employers sign up as an organization. Businesses have to pay, but Facebook is offering it to schools and nonprofits for free.

Organizations have used Workplace, previously called Facebook at Work, on an invite-only basis for the past 18 months. Facebook says more than 1,000 places use it, up from 450 six months ago.

Besides group chats and video calls, Workplace has live video and a news feed, much like the regular Facebook.