A new enterprise social network is looking to compete with the Convos, HipChats, Socialcasts and Yammers of the world. Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield on Wednesday launched Slack as a platform that encourages co-workers to converse, collaborate on projects and share pictures, links and more in real-time.
Butterfield is launching Slack as an Android and iPhone app in addition to a desktop program through Tiny Speck, a studio he created with other early Flickr employees in 2009 with more than $17 million in funding. The studio previously gained notoriety with a multiplayer game called Glitch. That venture ultimately shuttered late last year after failing to find a buyer.
Slack borrows a number of features popularized by other social networks including search and tashtags and includes smart integrations with the following products and services: Google Docs, Dropbox, GitHub, SVN, Perforce, Twitter, Crashlytics, HelpScout, ZenDesk, Wufoo, Nagios, Trello, Heroku, Hubot, Phabricator and Travis.
With the integrations, a Slack user can track and search across work in any of the aforementioned programs or services after creating a link between target files and the social network.
The platform has been in testing within Tiny Speck, a company with 45 employees scattered across two offices and several remote workers. The team found some interesting trends during the trial period. For example, within three days of using the service, e-mail usage dropped by 75 percent. On average, each user is sharing around 50 messages, four files and six searches per day.
Will Slack ultimately become an enterprise e-mail killer?