Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said his company would soon adding a range of audio features for all users of its work chat app.
Butterfield said that a feature for leaving audio messages, similar to a function available in messaging apps like Telegram, was available in a beta test. He also said that Slack would soon offer a feature akin to the audio-chat app Clubhouse, which allows users to drop into rooms for conversations without requiring scheduling a meeting or initiating a call.
He made the remarks in a Clubhouse room hosted by investor and former journalist Josh Constine, whose Press Club regularly hosts tech executives.
Butterfield also said Slack would soon get an ephemeral video message feature commonly known as "stories," similar to a message format originated by Snapchat and imitated by many, from Instagram to LinkedIn. Butterfield first indicated these features were on Slack's roadmap back in October. The new features come as Slack is making a push to turn its tool for internal company communications into a broader company-to-company messaging service.
The announcement appeared to catch Butterfield's soon-to-be boss, Salesforce COO Bret Taylor, by surprise. "Apparently the way to find out about all the cool unreleased @SlackHQ features is to invite @stewart to do a Clubhouse," he tweeted. Salesforce's pending acquisition of Slack is getting scrutinized by the Department of Justice, but Salesforce said in a filing that it still expects the deal to close by the end of July.
Owen Thomas is a senior editor at Protocol overseeing enterprise and financial technology coverage. He was previously business editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and before that editor-in-chief at ReadWrite, a technology news site. You’re probably going to remind him that he was managing editor at Valleywag, Gawker Media’s Silicon Valley gossip rag. He lives in San Francisco with his husband and Ramona the Love Terrier, whom you should follow on Instagram.