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Slack Goes Dark, Shared Channels Set to GA

Friday Sep 13th 2019 by Sean Michael Kerner

Slack is gearing up for a big new feature launch, but first, it's giving users a new look.

Among the most widely used tools on enterprise desktops in 2019 is Slack.

To the uninitiated, Slack is a messaging and collaboration application, that has both mobile and desktop edition and has become very popular in the last few years among organizations of all sizes.

Until September 12, Slack was missing what some users see as a 'must have' requirement for modern desktop and mobile usage - a so called 'dark mode'.

"Some want it because they work at night, or in low-light. Some need it for accessibility purposes: visual impairments, migraines or other visual disorders," Slack developers wrote in a blog post. "Some people want it just because they want it. That’s fair too! Whyever you want dark mode, if you want dark mode on Slack, you now, finally, we are happy to say, have it."

Slack is not slacking

Dark mode aside, Slack has been busy over the last several months, having its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and for the first time publicly announcing its financial results. During Slack's second quarter fiscal 2020 earnings call, Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder and CEO said that Slack, which has both free and paid offering, now has over 100,000 paying customers

"The next 5 years will be very different from the first 5 years," Butterfield said. "We came out of the gate with near perfect product market fit for our very earliest customers who tended to be smaller and more technical teams, but over the years, as we launched the Enterprise product, added key features for security, administrative control and compliance, we have seen real product market fit for the large enterprise use case."

More than just messaging

Butterfield emphasized that Slack's value extends beyond simple messaging and enterprises increasingly see that.

Slack has an app directory with over 1,800 apps in it with large enterprise software vendors including Atlassian, Salesforce and SAP. He noted that Slack's open platform continues to play an important role in enterprise adoption. Butterfield added that Slack is also seeing customers creating their own apps, integrating Slack into their internal systems and workflows. ]

"We only win if people choose Slack, and they only choose Slack if it provides real value to them," Butterfiled said. "There is no other path, we can't rely on bundling or superior distribution or sunk cost of entrenched products. In the long run, the measure of our success will be the value we create for customers."

What's Next

The big new innovation coming to Slack at the end of September is a feature called shared channels, which has been in beta for the last several months.

Butterfield explained that shared channels allow customers to securely collaborate with external partners, suppliers and their own customers in channels, while still maintaining their internal controls and compliant to policies.

"Slack gets more valuable as more people are on it," he said. "Now we expect to be able to increase the value for all of our existing customers as new customers start using Slack.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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