Slack launches Connect DMs to let you message people outside your company
Popular workplace communication and collaboration platform Slack is expanding its messaging functionality. The platform will now allow Slack users to send direct messages to any other Slack user. The feature is called Connect DMs.
According to a Protocol report, Slack lets you send an invitation to anyone through their work email address. When the recipient accepts the invitation, they are added as a new contact in the Slack sidebar. The report notes that the new messaging functionality turns the workplace platform into an application for messaging anyone. The feature also brings Slack on par with popular tools like Microsoft Teams.
"When someone opens up their phone," said Ilan Frank, Slack's VP of product told Protocol, "if they're connecting with their friends, they click on Facebook or WhatsApp. If they're connecting with someone they work with, regardless of where that person works, they should be clicking on Slack."
The report further said that the feature was in the works for quite some time, even before Salesforce acquired the company. The rollout, however, is aimed at keeping the platform competitive as the likes of Teams and Zoom grow in popularity.
Slack also faces questions on keeping users safe now that it has expanded the direct messaging functionality. Some users on Twitter also pointed out a few loopholes that could potentially lead to abuse. For instance, a sender can send an invitation with foul language or send abusive messages.
well that was easy as shit to abuse— Menotti Minutillo (@44) March 24, 2021
- send invite with nasty language
- slack emails you w/ the full content of the invite
- can't block the emails because they come from a generic slack address that informs you of invites
- abuser can keep inviting w/ abusive language https://t.co/Mw9W5L251a pic.twitter.com/dWEAD7ccRO
The company has been quick to acknowledge the problems. The company said it had removed the ability to customise a message when a user invites someone to Slack Connect DMs.
I will be definitely asking the admins of the Slack workspaces I use to turn this off if possible.— ✾ (@millenomi) March 24, 2021
“Slack Connect's security features and robust administrative controls are a core part of its value both for individual users and their organisations. We made a mistake in this initial roll-out that is inconsistent with our goals for the product and the typical experience of Slack Connect usage. As always, we are grateful to everyone who spoke up, and we are committed to fixing this issue,” Slack VP of Communications and Policy Jonathan Prince said.