Slack is now rolling out typing indicators in threads, and they’ve already dramatically improved my Slack experience.
At The Verge, we use threads a lot. We’re constantly sharing interesting and potentially newsworthy stuff we find around the web, and we use threads to help corral conversations about links or topics into one zone. At any given time, there might be a lot of people talking in one thread, especially with everything going on right now. But because typing indicators used to appear in the main channel even if someone was typing in a thread, it could be hard to tell who might be workshopping a witty one-liner for the thread or drafting something new for the channel.
These new in-thread typing indicators handily fix that. The indicators appear right under the message box in a thread, just like they would for messages being typed into the primary feed of a channel. If you don’t have them in your Slack yet, you can see what they look like in this tweet from Johnny Rodgers, principal software engineer at Slack.
Typing indicators in threads should be available to everyone as of Monday, Rodgers said. If you want to turn off typing indicators altogether in Slack, you can do that in the preferences menu. In the “Messages & media” section, uncheck the box next to “Display information about who is currently typing a message.”
I’ll be keeping typing indicators on; they kept me hooked on a busy thread from this morning that began as a conversation about Mountain Dew. Let’s just say that’s not where it ended up.