In less than two years after its February 2014 launch, Slack
– the all-purpose business messaging app with a crew of friendly bots – has attracted nearly two million users. In fact, it’s become the primary means of office communication for businesses ranging from small startups to leading enterprises such as Walmart, Comcast and the New York Times.
Efficient, effortless and engaging, Slack may be the only messaging app your business needs. Here’s how it works.
Slack Has Something for Everyone
Slack is a downloadable app
for both desktop and mobile devices, so it can be used anywhere, anytime. It’s free for anyone to use, but paid plans that provide more features and storage space are available for larger businesses and those with multiple teams and projects.
For many businesses, Slack’s appeal comes mainly from the fact that it can virtually eliminate a company’s dependence on email for internal communication and keep project workers connected around the clock.
Because Slack is constantly being updated to include integration with a growing list of widely used business apps, it also supports connections with a wider network of business partners and services outside the company.
Multiple Channels for Multiple Functions
Slack makes it easy for teams to keep in touch through multiple channels. Users can create a different channel for each aspect of a project, or for subsets of the team to use for their own communications.
Channels can be either public or private, and users can direct message individual team members on either of these.
Project administrators can view all messages and shared files for a quick overview of the project, and use a Slack channel to schedule check-ins and meetings to keep everyone on track.
On any of its channels, Slack allows users to share files in a variety of formats and add comments. Files can be shared from any local or cloud storage on channels open to everyone, or on a private channel for a select group of viewers.
All communications can be archived and searched for later viewing, or collected for use in newsletters, white papers and other publications.
Syncing Across Devices
Slack syncs with all applicable devices, and is also compatible with a long list of popular business apps, allowing team members to stay in touch wherever they are, and to connect with those outside the company as well. The app is available for all kinds of operating systems, too.
Because of its versatility and easy accessibility, Slack can replace email
and text for general office communications on desktop and mobile devices.
A Bot for Every Need
One reason for Slack’s popularity is its army of bots — bits of software designed to perform specific automated tasks. Though bots have been blamed for a variety of unpleasant Internet behaviors such as sending automated spam, on Slack they offer convenience — and fun.
can be set up to do a variety of chores such as sending updates at scheduled times, or creating reminders and calendars.
Equipped with their own names, they can even do more fanciful things. A bot named Oskar can chart how happy co-workers are, while Shoulda Coulda tracks how often people use the word “should” in communications.
Slack may seem an odd name for a product designed to boost office productivity, but this new app’s blend of efficiency and playfulness continues to attract hordes of users from startups to multinationals.
Offering collaboration and connection with a dash of fun, Slack may be the only messaging tool your business ever needs.
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