Slack will soon let anyone DM each other. A new Slack Connect direct messages feature will launch for businesses in early 2021 that expands on the idea of shared channels, and allows employees to directly connect with people from other organizations. If you’re a Slack Connect user, you’ll be able to share a private link with other Slack users to direct message you.
Slack has been building towards this ease of messaging between businesses for months. Slack Connect launched back in June, is designed to let businesses large and small collaborate together through shared channels. Cross-organization DMs is the next logical step, and part of a bigger way Slack is aiming to reduce back and forth email threads inside and outside businesses.
“You could put a link on your Twitter profile or a QR code on your business card that people could use to connect with you,” explains Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield in an interview with The Verge. The feature is mostly designed for sales people who need to message vendors, clients, and others without setting up a shared Slack channel.
“It works essentially like BlackBerry messaging, so that link is the equivalent of me giving you my BlackBerry PIN but when you message me I still have to approve you,” says Butterfield. Businesses will naturally have control over enabling this, and it’s something that most will likely turn on as it provides an audit trail of work-related communications rather than people turning to iMessage, SMS, or other ways to DM colleagues from different organizations.
Slack is also enabling a new verified organizations feature early next year, that will provide a checkmark for trusted businesses. It’s designed to make sure channel invites are from verified organizations, rather than verifying individuals like Twitter does. Both the Slack Connect DMs feature and verified organizations will appear in “early 2021.”