WordPress.com, a division of Automattic, is launching a new product called P2. This time, all this is to improve the internal communication of private groups. As a remote company, Automattic has been using P2 internally for asynchronous communication for many years. Here, you can share long format posts, and you can save a repository of introductory documents and other important evergreen documents.
P2 is built on WordPress. You can think of it as WordPress for teams, which is heavily customized around the concept of sharing ideas with other team members.
Companies now rely on multiple internal communication tools. P2 can replace some of them, but I don’t want to completely reinvent the wheel.
For example, P2 is not a competitor of Slack. You cannot use it for live chat. But P2 can be used to share important announcements, that is, announcements that you can find on the intranet portal.
You can also use it for long-term projects, especially to create your P2 for the team. In this case, P2 competes more directly with the Workplace through Facebook or Yammer.
To make it more useful for asynchronous communication, P2 has some features that make it more useful than a simple WordPress blog.
For example, you can @mention your colleagues, send them notifications, and follow the posts to receive updates.
You can also create checklists, embed PDF documents, paste important posts at the top of the homepage, and follow what happened during the journey.
There is a dedicated menu to view the new posts, new comments, and mentions you have received.
In theory, you can access the classic WordPress backend, but you can write new posts, edit existing posts, and make comments without leaving P2.
The company uses a new block editor that allows you to add titles, lists, video embeds, and media visually.
It works similarly to the editor or concept of Squarespace, and it makes sense to use the new editor next to the content you are viewing, commenting on.
For content that is always relevant, you can create documents, which are pages with no specific publication date and no comments. These documents are categorized in their categories and can be easily shared throughout the company.
You can use the document for internal policies, guidelines, or important contact information. Many companies rely on Google Docs and shared folders in Google Drive to obtain such documents. P2 may replace those shared folders and become the main information repository.
By default, the P2 website is private, but if you want to share product updates with customers or use P2 for public activities, you can make it public.
If you are familiar with the WordPress ecosystem, you may already know a WordPress theme called P2. The new P2 announced today is a new product that takes this idea to a new level.
Automattic has been iterating this concept and has used it extensively among 1,300 employees at 912 internal P2 sites.
WordPress.com will provide hosted P2 instances. Anyone can create P2 and invite others for free. Ultimately, WordPress.com plans to offer paid subscriptions to provide advanced features.
In other words, P2 will become software as a service product. But in the future, there will also be an open-source version that can be self-hosted.
This is a clean and focused product, especially useful in the position between company-wide emails and missing announcements in Slack.