Slack announced major updates for the “Huddles” feature at its Frontier conference. The platform is trying to offer more ways to collaborate with office colleagues. It appears Slack is now determined to indirectly challenge Microsoft Teams and Zoom by replicating their most popular features.
Slack introduced Huddles a year ago, and it has been one of the favorite features of the platform. Slack users gave it a 95% satisfaction rating, and repeatedly asked the company for “even deeper ways to collaborate.”
After listening to user feedback, the following features will be offered to all Slack teams:
- Lightweight video with one click
- Multi-person screen sharing, drawing, and cursors
- A fun, relaxed atmosphere filled with emojis, reactions, and “stickers”
- Message thread that automatically saves to channel
Huddles have primarily been a voice chat platform designed to mimic informal chats around the office water cooler. Moving ahead, all huddles will start as audio-only conversations on a simple, minimized screen. Speaking about the development, Tamar Yehoshua, Slack’s head of product said:
We heard from our customers that they loved the fast, minimal, and audio-first experience, so we’re keeping that intact. But soon you’ll have the option to turn on video when you want to fully express ourself and see the real-time reaction of your colleagues. Working from a dining room or just need more privacy? Blur your video background so you and your teammates can stay focused on the task at hand.
Each Huddle chat will also get a dedicated chat thread. This is preserved in Slack after the huddle ends. Huddles themselves aren’t recorded.
The improved Slack Huddles feature might not directly compete with the platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Meet. However, it appears the feature is certainly trying to simplify the collaboration of employees working remotely with those who have started working at offices.