Slack has announced a significant new feature for its organization-based communication service - shared channels. These new kinds of channels allow different organizations, which have different Slack workspaces, to come together in specific channels to facilitate communication in regards to specific topics.
Slack mentions plenty of use cases for this kind of capability. For example, for new members joining a company, information shared with the other company might previously be stored in someone's inbox. But with a shared channel, as soon as they join, they can see all the information that's been shared between the two teams.
Another possibility, which has been used by Fastly during the beta testing period of this feature, is creating a shared channel for customers to serve as a high-priority lane for customer support. It can be used to facilitate communication between a company and its contractors, for example, such as companies working with PR agencies to advertise their products.
Shared channels in Slack support all the capabilities of internal channels, so apps can still be added, files can be shared, and so on. To get started, your workspace administrator will need to make a request to the other organization to join a shared channel. Once that's done, the two teams can work together, and each side will see an indicator saying that the channel is shared with another organization.
Slack is facing tough competition from rivals such as Microsoft's Teams. New features such as this one, or the dark mode introduced last week, could help the company stay ahead of the competition.