Former Facebook Rising Star Develops ‘Threads,’ Competes With ‘Workplace’

Rousseau Kazi, an early graduate of the University of California at age 19 went to work for Facebook and decided after 6 years to go out on his own and develop ‘Threads,’ which will directly compete with Facebook’s Workplace.

During Kazi’s time at Facebook, he worked on various teams who included core infrastructure and search and Pages. While working on these various teams, Kazi use Facebook’s Workplace to collaborate with his teammates.   Workplace is the company’s internal version of its social network.  Walmart and  Starbucks also use the same Workplace app.

However, Kazisaid that while at Facebook, he wished that Workplace had features that fit his workflow, which is why he is now launching his start-up company called Threads which will directly compete with Workplace.

In an interview with CNBC, Kazi said that both Threads and Workplace were superficially similar in their core but that Workplace is more like Facebook and feels like a social network in the workplace.  Kazi said that Threads is built from the ground up to specifically work with teams in mind.

“Threads is a workplace collaboration software that is designed to help companies have thoughtful discussions and make decisions through online conversation,” Kazi explained.

Threads is not the first to provide internal workplace conversations.  Companies like Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, Google Hangouts Chat are out there but Threads is different in that it does not place an emphasis on real-time conversations.

Workplace was launched by Facebook in 2016 focusing on communications by employee posts similar to the consumer version of Facebook and these conversations are happening in real-time and are asynchronous as described by Kazi.

Kazi said that Threads is better suited to workplace conversations and has a few features that make it really stand out above the rest. Specifically, he says, Threads has a context bar that lets coworkers on a team see how many of their colleagues are reading the discussion or intend to participate.  Also, conversations can be marked for follow-up and can be added to a list of other conversations that need to be responded to.  Then after all participants on a team have contributed to the discussion they can then highlight the specific comment that was chosen as a decision. At the same time it would communicate to the entire team the conclusion of their ‘virtual’ meeting.