Slack is launching its new clips feature today, allowing coworkers to record video messages that exist in Slack channels. Clips supports audio from a microphone, alongside video and screen recordings. They’re designed to help teams communicate across various time zones, and cut down on the amount of meetings that are now taking place in a hybrid work era.
In addition to clips, Slack is also expanding Slack Connect to allow paid organization to partner with companies on free plans. It’s also announcing GovSlack that will run in a government-certified cloud environment when it launches in 2022.
Clips can be shared in channels or through DMs on Slack, and they even include live captions and a transcript that’s searchable in the Slack interface. Because they’re just like sharing an image or a text message in Slack, coworkers can reply with text, audio, video, or emoji.
Slack has been working on this feature for more than a year, and initially it sounded more like Instagram Stories that might disappear after a day rather than video voicemails that persist in channels. Initial prototypes involved a stories-like interface, but the feature has developed into something that fits more with the way people use Slack.
“We were inspired by how people are using video in consumer apps,” explains Tamar Yehoshua, chief product officer at Slack, in an interview with The Verge. “We actually prototyped a lot of different versions of this internally, and now we’ve settled on this as a means of communicating into your work repository.”
Clips feels like the next step in Slack attempting to address the needs of businesses adjusting to working from home alongside a renewed mix of office work. Huddles, a Discord-like audio calls feature, launched earlier this year and it’s already Slack’s “fastest adopted feature,” according to Yehoshua. Clips will begin rolling out today and will be available for all paid teams this fall.
Alongside the clips feature, Slack is also improving the way Slack Connect works. Slack Connects lets partner organizations work together in Slack and communicate, and now Slack is extending this to companies that aren’t on paid Slack plans yet. Slack Enterprise Grid customers will be able to invite anyone to use Slack and communicate with them instantly this fall.
GovSlack is also launching in 2022, a version of Slack that runs in a government-certified cloud environment. While Slack can already be used by the US government, this new version complies with federal government requirements like FedRAMP High and DoD IL4 certifications.
SalesForce closed its $27.7 billion deal to acquire Slack in July, and we’re now starting to hear more about the company’s ambitions for its communication service. It certainly sounds like SalesForce sees Slack as its digital hub, and the company is moving to integrate more of its services into Slack. “SalesForce has about 10 million developers in our ecosystem, and so what we’ve focused on with our platform work is connecting our platform to Slack for the SalesForce developer ecosystem,” explains Rob Seaman, senior vice president of Slack at SalesForce. “We consider Slack as the new engagement layer for SalesForce. We think the greater majority of users will be staying in Slack to do their work.”
The concept of putting Slack at the center, or as a work hub, is very similar to what Microsoft has been doing with Teams. Most of Microsoft’s biggest services plug into Teams somehow, and the company has been pushing Office integration to convince businesses to use Teams. SalesForce will certainly help Slack respond to Teams here, all while keeping Slack’s APIs open for others developers to integrate apps and services.