Slack’s Huddles audio chat feature, a popular way to start informal conversations since its launch last year, has seen the fastest use of any Slack feature ever with millions of users per week, according to the company. And at its Frontiers conference this week, Slack announced plans to expand the functionality of Huddle Call with optional video and screen sharing.
“It will capture the light-weight, instant audio-first experience it has today, but you’ll be able to expand the scope of any huddle,” said Rob Simman, Slack’s senior vice president of products, adding that when launching a huddle call Audio will be the default option.
To recap, Slack Huddles allows users to start an audio meeting with colleagues in channel conversations or direct messages by clicking on a “headphone” icon in the left sidebar. While this may be enough for some conversations, the new Huddle functionality – which will launch this fall – adds the option for users to switch to video calls for up to 50 people at once. It will also be possible to separate video feeds in a separate window to make it easier to send multitasks or messages during a call.
The upcoming screen-share option will allow two participants to broadcast their desktop to others at the same time in a huddle call. Seaman Huddle envisions screen sharing as a useful way for the product team to briefly meet via video to consult with different versions of a design or to quickly compare new and old contract proposals for sales staff.
Slack Huddle is adding an endless message thread to the right of the screen that allows users to share files and links during a Huddle meeting. All messages and interactions are then automatically posted and stored on the Slack Channel or DM screen which was subsequently launched for access.
Like audio huddles, video and screen sharing will be accessible using Slack Connect, which means starting video calls and sharing screens with clients and other external partners who use Slack.
After two years of distant work, businesses aren’t exactly suffering from a lack of video and screen sharing options. Slack already has its own local capabilities, in addition to numerous third-party options (this is also a field of focus for rival Microsoft, which recently announced plans to embed an interactive app in Team Screen Share).
Accessing these features on Slack Huddles reduces the hassle of more informal conversations that don’t require long video calls, Simman said.
“You don’t have to worry about going to the calendar and finding a slot a day in advance, or having a 30-minute meeting that you think is actually supposed to be 30 minutes,” he said. In contrast, the average length of a huddle faucet is 10 minutes. “So it’s 20 minutes that you’re definitely saving, as opposed to a scheduled 30-minute meeting.”
Wayne Kurtzman, IDC’s research director, said: “People use social applications that are increasingly audio- and video-heavy. [we have] In real life. “
GovSlack’s general availability has also been announced ahead of Slack’s Frontiers event this week. Slack previewed GovSlack last September; This enables public sector entities to meet the most stringent government compliance requirements when using collaboration tools in Slack’s Enterprise Grid Plan. GovSlack runs on a separate instance of Slack’s Amazon web service-hosted data center, specifically AWS GovCloud (US) Cloud.
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