What is Slack? - Focos

What is Slack?

What is Slack?


Slack is an easy-to-use communication platform and app, intended to be effectively used by both large and small groups of people, especially suited for real-time collaboration of persons within large companies, be it for working remotely or from a company office. Many IRC-type (Internet Relay Chat) features are integrated into Slack, such as content sharing and searching, the full use of emojis for more informal communication, direct messaging, and persistent chat groups, which can be organized at the discretion of the users.

The History of Slack

Slack Technologies is a software company that was started under the name Tiny Speck and developed the popular free-to-play mass multiplayer online browser game Glitch. Glitch was officially closed in December 2012, but due to parts of its source code being released to the public there are still versions of Glitch being developed by the fans.

During the process of developing Glitch, the team used an internal app and platform that would later evolve into the real-time collaboration app and platform now known as Slack. Slack was launched after the closure of Glitch and received funding of approximately seventeen million, and in 2014 Tiny Speck officially changed its name to Slack Technologies.

Slack stands for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”. Over the years Slack Technologies continued to receive funding and improve, until in 2016 Slack was ranked number one on the Forbes Cloud 100 list and has continued to be one of the most used collaboration apps ever since. In 2020 IBM announced that going forward all of its three hundred and fifty thousand employees will be using Slack, making Slack even more popular and IBM Slack’s largest client.

How does it work?

Team administrators can create “workspaces” which are easily accessible via URL or by invitation. While originally intended for use in professional settings, many persons and communities have started using Slack as informal message boards and in lieu of other social media platforms.

Slack allows its userbase to communicate without the need for e-mails, texts, or other forms of electronic messaging, by including all of the needed features on its platform. Public channels can be used by anyone invited to the workspace, while private channels can be made to accommodate smaller groups of people for more specific tasks. Users can directly message one another for an added layer of privacy and these direct messages can be done between up to nine people.

Integrations and Features

Slack has integrated many of the most popular and advanced third-party services, such as Google Drive, Dropbox and GitHub, and allows its users free and easy access to them. Slack’s software application directory allows the installation of more than one hundred and fifty integrations. Slack also provides users with the ability to send automatic notifications and alerts and is compatible with most other applications and services.

Slack is compatible with all of the most used OS, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. It also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android and is even available on the Apple Watch.

The free version of Slack allows its users all of the features provided to paying users, with the only limit being how many archived messages can be searched and how many apps and integrations can be installed. There are no such limits for paying customers and Slack can support an unlimited number of users.

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