Thanks to a surge in remote work, Slack has begun experimenting with some new features that improve the flow of communication on the platform. Slack is now testing a video update feature, and is also trying out always-available audio chats.
Making Slack Conversations More Fluid
Slack wants to make its platform feel more like an in-person office space. A post on the Slack Blog revealed that the platform is working to help its users “form deeper connections while working remotely.”
In order to make that happen, it’s exploring prototypes for both a video update and an instant audio feature.
The video feature works a lot like stories on Snapchat and Instagram—it’ll let you record a video update that coworkers can click on and watch.
You can even use the video feature as a way to prerecord an important message, eliminating the need for a group video conference. According to Slack, this would give “people the information and updates they need, with a measure of flexibility that is usually missing in today’s setup.”
As for the anytime audio feature, it’s meant to feel as natural as popping your head in someone’s office to ask a quick question. Slack describes this feature as “lightweight, always-available audio that allows for ad-hoc connections when you need a quick answer or more eyes on a problem.”
Having access to instant audio can make conversations more fluid and personable. Instead of having to go through the effort of typing out a question and waiting for a reply, you can quickly throw out a question over audio. This also prevents you from having to schedule and follow through with a full-blown video call.
So far, it seems like always-available audio will work a lot like voice channels on Discord, only the conversation probably won’t be geared towards video games. The audio channels on Slack likely won’t disappear after a chat, which allows people to step in and start conversations at any time.
In addition to these two exciting features, Slack also introduced an update for Slack Connect, its platform that fosters communication between different organizations.
Slack Connect will soon allow you to DM another user from another company. Just send a link to the person you want to talk to, and you can start up a private conversation. Slack is also rolling out a verified badge for companies on Connect, which lets you see which organizations you can trust.
Creating a Better Atmosphere for Remote Workers
Whenever Slack decides to debut its upcoming audio and video features, it’s bound to make waves in the world of remote work. These features can make it even easier to collaborate remotely, and can definitely improve morale in the virtual office.