What's new in Workplace? August 2019

by Sabrina Morsello

Our monthly round-up of all the latest Workplace product announcements.

In August we were busy at work in the final weeks of summer holidays. We spent time leveling up many of our existing features so they’re easier to use and help you get more done using Workplace. Here are some of the latest product updates from the last month.

Official groups

Marking groups as official provides a visual cue that's easy for people to spot when they're searching through groups in Workplace. This helps employees find company-approved information more quickly, whether that’s the latest company news, internal policies or business updates.

How does it work?

Any system admin, content moderator, and custom admin role that has permission to ‘Manage groups’ can mark - or unmark - a group as official.

An official-group icon will appear alongside the official group’s name in multiple locations - including the group-page header, search results, and in News Feed. And all users will be able to see groups that have been marked as official.

New file viewer and annotations

Files are central to the way people work, share information quickly and collaborate. Because files are so important in our daily work lives, we want to make sure working with them is quick and easy on Workplace. So we’ve completely redesigned our file viewer experience to give you a high-fidelity preview and the ability to make notes straight from a Workplace post.

This new experience for PDF is rolling now and will be available to everyone over the coming weeks. We plan to make this new file viewer available for all major file types like PowerPoint, Word, Excel and more very soon.

New file viewer

New file viewer

How does it work?

When you attach any PDF file to a post, Workplace will automatically render the new viewer. Click on the viewer to see a rich preview with easy navigation. To add a note, simply click on “Place a new comment” then click anywhere on the PDF to place the annotation.

Comments are indicated with a letter on the PDF - and in the comments thread of the post - so people can find them easily. Annotations can only be added on the web, but they can be seen on Workplace mobile apps as comments.

Create multiple groups from the Admin Panel

Groups are at the heart of Workplace and we want to make it easier for admins to setup their Workplace communities in the organization. So we’ve released a new feature that lets Workplace Admins create multiple groups at once by uploading a spreadsheet or email list.

How does it work?

Workplace Admins will be able to upload a spreadsheet or email list from the Groups tab in the Admin Panel to create multiple Workplace groups at once. This will make it easier to set up and manage your Workplace account. To use this feature, visit the Groups tab in the Admin Panel, click on “Create Multiple Groups” and select an option from the drop-down menu.

Before you create a group, you’ll be asked to confirm the settings for each one. The Admin creating the groups will become the admin of those groups by default and can subsequently assign other group admins and moderators.

Streamlining Q&A on posts

Within the comments of a post, we're adding an icon next to the name of the post's author. This will help readers easily spot updates and responses from the author of the post. This feature is gradually rolling out to everyone and you will start seeing it on your posts automatically.

Post authors

Post authors

The New Workplace Experience is live for everyone!

The new Workplace Experience is now live for everyone. We'll now remove The New Workplace page from the Admin Panel on Monday, September 16. Please make sure you download any useful documents and remember you can access many of these through our Customer Resource Center.

Having everyone on the new experience allows us to focus on your feedback - we're committed to improving the new interface for everyone. Performance and white space are at the top of the list.

If you're curious about the rationale and journey around the new experience, take a look at this recent Engadget article. We hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek and we look forward to sharing more Workplace developments with you next month.

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