Slack is a cloud-based team collaboration platform that was launched in 2013. It was founded by Stewart Butterfield, Eric Costello, Cal Henderson, and Serguei Mourachov, who had previously created Flickr, a popular photo-sharing platform.
Slack was originally developed as an internal communication tool for Butterfield's company, Tiny Speck, which was working on a massively multiplayer online game called Glitch. The team found that the internal communication tool they had been using wasn't sufficient, so they decided to build their own. After Glitch was shut down, Butterfield and his team realized that the communication tool they had built had the potential to be a standalone product, and so Slack was born.
The name "Slack" is actually an acronym for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge," which reflects the platform's focus on creating a searchable archive of team communication.
Slack quickly gained popularity, and by 2014, the platform had more than 16,000 daily active users. Today, Slack is used by millions of people around the world, including teams at companies such as Airbnb, IBM, and NASA. In 2019, Slack went public, with its shares debuting on the New York Stock Exchange.
Slack is a popular team communication platform that provides a range of features to help teams collaborate and communicate more effectively. Here are some of the main features of Slack:
- Channels: Slack allows teams to create channels for different projects, topics, or teams. This allows members to communicate and share information in a dedicated space.
- Direct Messaging: Slack also allows users to send direct messages to individuals or groups of team members, making it easy to communicate privately.
- File Sharing: Slack makes it easy to share files, documents, images, and other media with team members. Files can be uploaded directly to channels or shared through direct messages.
- Integrations: Slack has the ability to integrate with various third-party applications such as project management tools, time tracking software, and customer support platforms.
- Search: Slack provides a powerful search function that makes it easy to find past messages, files, and other content. The search function can be used to search across channels or within specific conversations.
- Customization: Slack allows teams to customize the platform with a range of themes, emojis, and other branding elements.
- Video and Voice Calls: Slack also provides video and voice calling capabilities, allowing teams to connect face-to-face even when they are not in the same location.
- Mobile Apps: Slack has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, making it easy to stay connected with team members on-the-go.
Overall, Slack is a powerful and flexible platform that provides a range of features to help teams communicate and collaborate effectively.
Slack offers a range of pricing options to suit different team sizes and needs. Here is an overview of the pricing tiers:
- Free: Slack's Free plan includes basic features such as 10,000 searchable messages, 10 integrations, and 1-to-1 video calls. This plan is suitable for small teams or those just starting out.
- Standard: Slack's Standard plan costs $6.67 per user per month (billed annually) and includes unlimited searchable messages, unlimited integrations, group video calls, and guest access. This plan is suitable for growing teams with more complex needs.
- Plus: Slack's Plus plan costs $12.50 per user per month (billed annually) and includes all the features of the Standard plan, plus advanced security and compliance features, SSO integration, and 24/7 support. This plan is suitable for larger enterprises with strict security and compliance requirements.
- Enterprise: Slack's Enterprise plan is designed for large organizations with complex needs and includes features such as dedicated customer support, guaranteed uptime, and personalized onboarding. Pricing for this plan is customized based on the organization's needs.
It's worth noting that Slack also offers discounts for non-profit organizations and educational institutions. Additionally, they offer a range of add-ons and upgrades, such as the ability to record and transcribe meetings or access to additional storage, which can be purchased on a per-user basis.
Can a virtual assistant use Slack to assist a business?
Slack is a powerful tool for integrating outsourced teams, virtual assistants, and communicating with your global team. Here are some ways to use Slack to improve communication and collaboration with remote workers:
- Create channels: Set up channels in Slack for different teams, projects, or tasks. This allows everyone to communicate and collaborate on specific topics or tasks, and ensures that everyone has access to the information they need.
- Use integrations: Slack integrates with a variety of tools and services, including Trello, Asana, and Google Drive. By connecting these tools to Slack, you can centralize communication and collaboration and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Conduct video calls: Slack offers video and voice calls, making it easy to communicate with remote workers in real-time. This is especially helpful for virtual assistants or outsourced teams who may be in different time zones.
- Share files: Slack allows you to share files with your team, making it easy to collaborate on documents, presentations, and other files. You can also set up channels for specific projects or teams, and share files within those channels.
- Use bots: Slack bots can automate tasks and provide information to your team. For example, you can use a bot to provide daily updates on a project or to send reminders to team members.
- Set up status updates: Slack allows you to set status updates, so your team knows when you are available or busy. This is especially helpful when working with virtual assistants or outsourced teams in different time zones.
By using Slack to integrate outsourced teams, virtual assistants, and communicate with your global team, you can improve communication, increase productivity, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.