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Source: Slack

Slack Incorporates Asynchronous Video and Voice Chats Into Its Messaging App

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Mar. 29 2021, Published 3:40 p.m. ET

It’s safe to say that Slack hasn’t been slacking. The workplace messaging and collaboration platform, now owned by Salesforce, is expanding its horizons with Slack Connect DMs and asynchronous video messages.

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However, the rollout of Slack Connect DMs wasn't without controversy. As you might have seen, Slack tweaked the new feature after critics pointed out that users could send abusive or harassing messages through Slack Connect DM email invitations.

What is Slack?

Slack is a collaboration platform with more than 12 million daily active users and more than 119,000 paid customers across more than 150 countries and 65 of the Fortune 100 companies, as its website boasts.

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Salesforce.com owns Slack.

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Source: Getty Images

On December 1, 2020, the CRM company Salesforce announced that it was acquiring Slack for $27.7 billion. As part of the acquisition, Slack is becoming the new interface for its parent company’s CRM platform, Salesforce Customer 360.

“Salesforce started the cloud revolution, and two decades later, we are still tapping into all the possibilities it offers to transform the way we work. The opportunity we see together is massive,” Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield said in a press release. “As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility.”

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Slack's worth

With Slack (NYSE:WORK) stock around the $40 mark, the company had a market capitalization of $23.6 billion as of March 29, according to Google Finance.

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It sounds like Salesforce has big plans for its new subsidiary. “Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it,” Salesforce CEO and Chair Marc Benioff said in the press release. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.”

Why Slack is in the news.

As mentioned earlier, Slack faced backlash on March 24 when it rolled out Slack Connect DMs, which lets users message someone at another organization. Responding to harassment concerns, the company announced a fix that same day. “We are taking immediate steps to prevent this kind of abuse, beginning today with the removal of the ability to customize a message when a user invites someone to Slack Connect DMs,” Jonathan Prince, Slack’s vice president of communications and policy, told The Verge.

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The company is also making headlines for its new asynchronous video and voice chat features, the latter of which is drawing Clubhouse comparisons that Butterfield isn’t disavowing.

“We’re just building Clubhouse into Slack, essentially,” Butterfield explained on the PressClub Clubhouse show, according to TechCrunch. “Like that idea that you can drop in, the conversation’s happening whether you’re there or not, you can enter and leave when you want, as opposed to a call that starts and stops, is an amazing model for encouraging that spontaneity and that serendipity and conversations that only need to be three minutes.”

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