Although tens of millions of small businesses have Facebook pages for their companies, most of the owners I know do not really consider the social media platform to be a business productivity or collaboration tool. That perception may soon change.

This week, Facebook announced some big upgrades to Workplace, its $3 per month “premium” user office collaboration service. Workplace was launched in 2016 and has quietly grown as a popular way for companies of all sizes (including big brands like Walmart, Starbucks and Domino’s) to internally collaborate with employees, customers and others in its community via group chats, messaging and video calls.

It is a large and growing industry. Collaboration and work group messaging applications are part of a projected $3.2 billion market, according to research firm IDC.

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Workplace has had a weakness: no ability to integrate with other products and services. Competitors like Microsoft Teams (my firm is a Microsoft partner) and Slack have plug-ins to hundreds of other cloud-based applications that enable their customers to do things like manage documents, view each other’s calendars, track activities, take surveys, update forecasts and share notes.

That is why Facebook announced a new “integration directory” for Workplace that will include connectors to more than 50 software services like Microsoft SharePoint, SurveyMonkey, HubSpot, Salesforce.com and ServiceNow … and many more in the future, Facebook says.

Even with this big upgrade, Workplace still faces significant challenges.

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The first is Facebook is perceived to be more of a consumer-driven service than a business tool used by enterprises. Even if that perception can be overcome, Workplace still faces an even bigger concern: winning over companies that have privacy concerns, particularly given the company’s recent troubles in this area.

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“Companies, for now at least, are being more conscious around Workplace because of the lack of clarity around data usage that has plagued the parent brand,” Wayne Kurtzman, an analyst with the research firm IDC, told Reuters.

Facebook appears to be very aware of that issue. “We’re not launching an open platform,” a product manager for the company told CNET. “It’s really important to us (that) the integrations we offer our partners meet a high bar. Protecting our customers’ information is at the heart of everything we do.”

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