Slack Unveils New Features in Latest Product Update
Enterprise collaboration software firm Slack held its quarterly Admin Roadmap Preview webinar last week to unveil the latest features the Salesforce-owned company implemented, as well as what's on tap for a future release.
During the presentation, which was geared towards current Slack channel owners and administrators, Slack's Senior Success Manager Willis Stebbins and Product Manager for Security and Compliance Max Baez highlighted the latest changes to the communication and collaboration software.
Features included better management of channel administration as well as new controls and capabilities for admins. The webinar will be replayed on Feb. 16.
Slack's New Features
Stebbins began the presentation with the latest updates to Slack Connect, first released in 2020, which provides organizations with a way to streamline communication with external partners and vendors. Designed to move collaboration with outside organizations out of email and into Slack, the key new features include:
- Limited access: This new feature available on all paid plans provides more granular channel membership controls and enables admins to more securely connect to external organizations.
- Sponsored connections: Enables admins to sponsor unlimited connections with external partners, regardless of their plan, so that organizations can work more efficiently with partners.
- Higher limits: Slack Connect also now has an increased connection limit of up to 250 organizations in an individual channel available on all paid plans.
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The San Francisco-based company also released additional new features, such as increased flexibility in analytics dashboards to enable easier historical analysis. Other announced updates include:
- Legal holds: Enterprise grid customers, those who have a Slack plan that allows them to create unlimited workspaces, can now preserve all messages and files from a conversation regardless of retention policy when they are necessary for potential litigation issues.
- Clip enhancements: Users can now also blur their backgrounds when recording a video clip, and the maximum video clip length has been increased to five minutes on all plans.
- Follow all threads: Users on all plans can be notified of every threaded message in a channel.
- Split-view: With split-view, users can increase efficiency and minimize context switching when working across channels and workspaces.
Finally, Stebbins said Slack has tackled what he called one of the most requested features of the last few months. Admins can now prevent channel members from using the notorious @here and @channel notifications with the latest Posting Permission checkbox. Admins can now go in on a channel-by-channel basis and make adjustments.
“This quite well could have been the most requested feature of all time in Slack and especially from admins,” said Stebbins. Most admins who spoke of the feature said it drove them crazy and made Slack noisy, he said.
Stebbins ran a poll during the webinar to gauge excitement surrounding this feature, and 62% of webinar attendees believed it was a nice feature, 10% labeled it "game-changing," and 21% made it known that they would "now have inner peace."
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Coming Soon to Slack
Baez then took over presenting duties to explain some of the features that Slack users can expect to see in the platform in the coming months. They included a mix of features for users on all plans as well as some reserved for enterprise and paid Slack users.
Features for All Plans
Administrators on all plans will soon be able to:
- Create folders and bookmarks: Organize files within a channel by creating and managing folders for bookmarks.
- Manage external members: View external members and manage channel membership for limited access members.
Baez said the company will also release a redesigned iPad app that will better align with the desktop version of Slack.
Workflow Efficiency Tools for Paid Plans
For those with paid Slack accounts, there are several new features on the horizon, including:
- Enhanced app approvals: Admins will be able to auto-approve certain apps while requiring review for others based on app capabilities.
- Convert private channels to public: Another highly requested feature, previously private channels can now be made public to provide everyone in the Workspace with access to relevant information.
- Multi-channel workflows: Instead of individually configuring each workflow instance, admins will be able to publish a workflow to several different channels.
- Workflow solution gallery: Slack will soon provide a dedicated space for browsing previews of pre-built workflows. Admins may use the space to standardize the everyday business processes for their organization.
- Simpler workflow installation: Users will be able to customize and install workflows to their channels without opening Workflow Builder.
- In-channel workflow discoverability: This provides a straightforward way to see all workflows in a channel, including their triggers and making them more accessible for teams.
Enhanced Security for Enterprise Grid Customers
Enterprise customers who manage multiple channels and workspaces across the organizations will be able to:
- Monitor messages and files with native DLP: Enterprise customers will have enhanced data loss prevention (DLP) tools to generate alerts and block content in Slack Connect based on custom rules.
- Managed connection policies for file uploads and profile data: They'll also be able to configure per-connection policies to control the uploads and profile data that is shared with a specific partner.
Information regarding the latest features and future updates is available in Slack’s Help Center, along with more details about future updates.
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