Slack begins to deploy video and audio message “clips”

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Slack is rolling out a video and audio messaging tool that allows workers to send short recordings to co-workers instead of scheduling long meetings – another example of the growing trend towards “asynchronous” communications.

Users create short recordings – “clips” – which they can send through direct messages or into channels that co-workers can access when it suits them. Recipients can then reply in the format that suits them best, be it video, audio or text.

The clips, which are captioned live, can be slowed down or sped up to your liking when viewed. And the text of the automatically generated video and audio transcripts is also searchable in the Slack app.

For some purposes, recordings could replace video meetings that force participants to find time in their calendars – a challenge exacerbated by remote workers who may work in different time zones or those with flexible hours. Rather than scheduling a team video call for a daily status update, Slack users can record a short video describing their progress. Or a team can record a presentation on achieving a goal that can be easily shared across the company in a more engaging way than a written message.

“Clips are a very quick and easy way to record video, audio, and possibly screen sharing in Slack,” said Noah Weiss, vice president of products at Slack. “It takes what Slack has always been great at – that flexible transition between asynchronous and synchronous communication – and adds a new layer of texture and expressiveness on top of it.”

The launch is the latest step in Slack’s plans to expand the ways users can work within its platform, helping to counter the fatigue of video meetings that has often been cited with the increase in remote working. caused by the pandemic. It follows the addition of Slack Huddles earlier this year, which allows users to jump into real-time audio channels for more spontaneous and informal conversations.

“Slack facilitates communication in several ways – text, audio and video – and each is part of the team’s portfolio,” said Wayne Kurtzman, research director at IDC. “While some may see it as a gimmick, people are using these emerging forms of communication; Slack tracks how people communicate outside of work. It’s a plus for adoption and longer-term retention. “

Slack clips are now generally available, and the company said the feature will roll out to paid users this fall.

Sponsored connections Slack Connect

At Dreamforce this week, Slack also announced the availability of Sponsored Connections for Slack Connect to make it easier for businesses to collaborate with external partners, customers, and customers.

Slack Connect was launched last year to allow up to 20 individual businesses to chat and share files on a single, dedicated channel, rather than creating guest accounts. Some 90,000 organizations now use Slack Connect, Slack said.

The feature was previously only available to paying customers, meaning all parties needed a subscription to access a shared Connect channel. But later this fall, customers of Slack’s premium commercial product – Enterprise Grid – will be able to host external partners without having to pay for Slack.

These external users will be able to access paid Slack features, such as Huddles and “clips,” when they collaborate in a sponsored Slack Connect shared channel. Outside of the shared channel, they will have the same access to product features as free tier users.

Slack customers on other payment tiers will still need external partners to pay for Slack after a 90-day free trial period.

GovSlack is coming ’22

Slack also previewed GovSlack, which essentially enables public sector customers to meet the most stringent government compliance requirements when using the collaboration tool. This means increasing FedRAMP compliance from Moderate (added last year) to High and adding DoD IL4.

GovSlack runs in a separate instance within data centers hosted by Slack’s Amazon Web Service, specifically the AWS GovCloud (US) cloud.

“It’s Slack in a walled GovSlack Island that you can’t get out of, but you can work with a lot of other agencies and businesses,” Weiss said. This means, for example, that U.S. government agencies and their contractors will have access to a separate version of Slack Connect to collaborate while maintaining compliance with industry regulations.

While Slack has been “government ready” for some time, Kurtzman said, having GovSlack makes the proposition clearer to public sector customers. “This saves Slack and Salesforce having to explain that Slack is government ready – and they can meet the needs that government buyers are trying to solve.”

GovSlack will be available to Enterprise Grid customers next year.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.


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