The last thing to see in the chat record was the account managers’ boss entering the room.
“As far as I know, nobody lost their job over it,” Laura says.
Originally, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield set out to design games.
Recently, Slack added an emoji “status” feature that results in evermore tiny cartoons sprinkled through your chat history like confetti.
Rayl acknowledges that what happens on Slack doesn’t always look like work.
What happens when we bring our digital selves to work? Valued at .8 billion last year, Slack claims 5 million daily active users across workplaces that include 21st Century Fox, Dow Jones, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Slack was not the first company to offer workplace chat and instant messaging: Before Slack, there was Campfire; there was Hip Chat. Slack comes in a free version with limited storage and features but also offers several tiers of expanded plans, priced per active user.
And, “people were getting called ‘dumb sluts’ left and right.” At first, as salespeople started reading, the talk continued, but then the account managers noticed who was joining and began to flee.
The fight-or-flight impulse was not particularly useful here: They could make the channel disappear from their own view of Slack, but running away did nothing to delete its history.
These functions aren’t so different from those of previous chat apps, but Slack makes them look good (a friendly interface) and run better (speedy, reliable, with a strong search function).
All of this has earned Slack word-of-mouth enthusiasm, not something generally associated with workplace software.
Open Slack, and it greets you with a friendly message as it loads: “Be cool. The day just got better.” Or: “Always get plenty of sleep, if you can.” (They’re all signed from “your friends at Slack.”) The left side of the screen lists your contacts and group “channels,” with green lights to indicate whether users are active and pink badges to mark unread messages.
Star the people you talk to most and they’ll stay at the top of your list, or search for any other employee by name and start a new conversation.
Laura works in ad sales at a well-known tech company.