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Slack to add audio features, including messages, Clubhouse-like rooms and Stories

Slack's CEO spoke about adding the features in a recent Clubhouse chat

Slack logo on Android

Slack may be the next app to rip off popular features from other social media apps. The popular workplace messaging platform could soon add audio features, including audio chat-rooms like you’d find in Clubhouse.

According to a report from Protocol, Slack CEO Steward Butterfield outlined plans to bring new audio features to Slack in a Clubhouse chat with investor and former journalist Josh Constine. Butterfield spoke about an audio messages feature, similar to what you’d find in popular messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, which is now available for beta testing.

Butterfield also discussed plans to add an audio room feature to Slack that would let users drop into a virtual space to have conversations. If you’re wondering why users can’t just use Slack’s existing voice call feature, you’re not alone. Butterfield spoke about how audio rooms wouldn’t require scheduling a meeting or initiating a call — instead, they’d just exist as a space for people to enter at their leisure.

It kind of makes sense for our current distributed work world. Employees can no longer spontaneously chat with each other while moving about the office. Creating a virtual ‘water cooler’ space, if you will, could be a way to let people connect with each other more casually than a scheduled video meeting. I also wonder if adding that feature is just because it’d be trendy. After all, Clubhouse does seem to be the hot new thing right now.

Slack could soon add Stories

Speaking of trendy, Butterfield also spoke about adding an ephemeral video message feature to Slack. In other words, Stories. Like Twitter, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram and others, Slack will soon copy Snapchat’s stand-out feature and bring it to the workplace. I can see the appeal in social media apps, although I’m not a fan of Stories/Fleets/whatever stupid name you want to call them. However, I can’t image why anyone would want to use a Stories feature in their work communication tool.

Maybe it’s time to go back to only using email. But, at this rate, it’s only a matter of time until some sick freak figures out how to add Stories to Gmail.

Anyway, it’s worth noting that Butterfield’s talk of new Slack features isn’t entirely new. The Verge reported on Slack’s plans to build these features into the app back in October. Further, Slack recently made a push to turn the app into a company-to-company messaging service by letting anyone direct message (DM) anyone. Shortly after enabling the feature, Slack quickly changed how it worked due to concerns about harassment. Hopefully the company takes more care in building the new audio features. Harassment issues have plagued Clubhouse, in part because moderating live audio is much more difficult than text.

Source: Protocol

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