Messenger software service Slack breaks down boundary between companies

Until now, the office communication service Slack basically kept users within their own company's workspace. The Slack Connect feature lifts this restriction: Since Wednesday, all Slack users can contact each other if they know their email address.

With this, Slack wants to further assert itself in everyday work and is breaking down boundaries between company networks on the platform to do so. The service, which is currently being taken over by SAP competitor Salesforce, had to adapt the implementation of the function after criticism. Experts pointed out that when contact was made, insults and harassment could also be sent. Slack then deactivated the option of adding individual messages to the contact request on Wednesday evening.

Founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield emphasized that the introduction of Slack Connect should lead to more security in office communication. Currently, employees often switch to chat services for the sake of simplicity - and their communication is thus removed from the company network. Slack is also currently working on verified accounts - comparable to the checkmarks on Twitter.

Slack has no ambitions to compete with video conferencing offerings like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, Butterfield emphasized. However, the service is working on features that can be used to recreate situations from everyday office life in a digital work environment. That includes the ability to ask a spoken question in a Slack channel without having to initiate a call first, he said. That's akin to someone stopping by a colleague's desk, Butterfield said. Another idea is a feature where you can collect comments on a proposal over time - for example, so employees from different time zones can comment.

In the next two or three years, there will be a lot of new concepts in the Corona pandemic, given the acceleration of digitization, the Slack CEO stressed. "I hope we will recognize this moment as an opportunity to reinvent many things."

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