Slack is working to bring a few new features to the collaboration offering, including an Instagram-like stories feature and the ability to communicate with channel members via audio using a push-to-talk system. These efforts, including other recently added abilities such as Connect, are aimed at improving the usability of the app in times of the pandemic that has forced users to work remotely. The CEO of the company, Stewart Butterfield, detailed the features and the idea behind them in an interview with The Verge.
The format of stories isn’t new and had expanded from a more casual, photo-sharing app-specific feature to professional setups like LinkedIn. The executive says that the feature will be “very much like Instagram stories, or Snapchat stories, but in Slack”. Butterfield also acknowledges that the changing dynamics of work warrant the need for such “ideas”. The firm expects users to leverage the stories feature not for sharing leisure content, but for sharing status updates or some form of video briefings, remotely. The company says that the feature is still in the prototype phase and shared a concept image of how it expects the feature to look like.
Another feature that the firm is working on is an ‘instant talk’ audio communication capability. While the company does not offer extensive video calling or conferencing capabilities like other collaboration tools do such as Microsoft’s Teams, it aims to provide an easier way to conduct short meetings or discussions between users without having to schedule separate meetings. Users can hop in and out of a perpetual call to ask quick questions, which will be nifty for smaller teams. “The idea is that the call isn’t something that starts and stops, it’s something you enter and leave[,] and the call is always there permanently associated with the channel,” says Butterfield.
The executive says that these features are in the prototyping stage and that they are expected to make it to the offering “some time this year”. With less than three months remaining in the year, it is possible that the features will show up in beta form for a limited number of users for testing before heading out to all users. As part
Source: The Verge