Slack is the latest enterprise social network from Flickr co-founder

By on August 14, 2013, 3:00 PM

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?




User Comments: 11

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RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

I'd like to see if this makes even the first year. Everyone already has Facebook and Twitter or Myspace. Then they have professional social media sites like LinkedIn. Making another business oriented social media site will not go well over. I can bet you that much. And nothing can get back and forth faster than email. Heck offices even put up some kinda source of instant messanger so people can communicate quickly within the office if things are slammed and can't call or walk over to communicate something. I do not see this going far.

2 people like this | H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't like its brand name, nice concept and great UI but as RenGood said, I doubt it will go big. It will go for more then a year, funding is there.

RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

Yeah I just don't see it. They might have the funding. But not as much as Facebook,Twitter, and LinkedIn do.

1 person liked this | mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Yeah I just don't see it. They might have the funding. But not as much as Facebook,Twitter, and LinkedIn do.

It doesn't really matter, you have to start somewhere and if Slack brings value to other companies then I don't see why they wouldn't be in good business. If you would need as much money as any of the companies you mentioned then all startups are doomed. And by the way LinkedIn is a totally different social network than Slack, which is meant to be used to communicate within employees while LinkedIn is really more for recruiting.

And nothing can get back and forth faster than email. Heck offices even put up some kinda source of instant messanger...

I work for Yammer and haven't really used email for business in about 3 months and every time I have to use email to communicate with someone I feel like I am going back in time. When you have most platforms (Web, Desktop, iOS, Android) covered a solution like Slack, Yammer, Hipchat et al can be as fast or faster than email. When you have multiple offices across the globe being able to communicate openly will get you better/faster answers than when you talk one to one via email with someone on another timezone, because more people can be involved in the conversation.

Email is great for what it is but it really doesn't scale for bigger businesses since most conversations happen in private and there's no good way to involve the whole company without spamming everybody.

Arris Arris said:

"Slack", too many negative work connotations in the UK even if the idea is to "pick up the slack". I can see this being dismissed as soon as the name is heard. The overall product looks like it could be quite good.

I agree with Mario. Personally in the company I work for we have our own messaging system, tickiing system, software development management system, and wikis. Still use email quite a bit but not nearly as much as we used too. Emails are now usually for sending information that isn't going to develop into a conversation.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I'd like to see if this makes even the first year. Everyone already has Facebook and Twitter or Myspace. Then they have professional social media sites like LinkedIn. Making another business oriented social media site will not go well over. I can bet you that much. And nothing can get back and forth faster than email. Heck offices even put up some kinda source of instant messanger so people can communicate quickly within the office if things are slammed and can't call or walk over to communicate something. I do not see this going far.

Remember even the mighty can fall. Facebook and their like aren't going to be around forever. Lets see what Slack brings to the party, not that I'm all that interested.

StoneSTL StoneSTL said:

The comparisons to Facebook and other social media sites don't apply if Slack is an ESN ("network" vs. "media"). The better comparison is the author's noted "Convos, HipChats, Socialcasts and Yammers" (and Telligent, Lithium, IBM Connections, JIve, Mango Apps, Evoq Social, etc.etc.etc.). These are systems to be used by companies for employee to employee, employee to customer, and customer to customer (and in some cases "intra-trade") communications. There are over 1,600 different content management systems out there, so you can assume there's going to be a similar slew of ESNs. Whether Slack ever catches on enough to be a real player remains to be seen, but Facebook's success or failure shouldn't have anything to do with it.

StoneSTL StoneSTL said:

Not sure where that image link came from (and don't like that I can't delete the mistake). Here's my full comment...

The comparisons to Facebook and other social media sites don't apply if Slack is an ESN ("network" vs. "media"). The better comparison is the author's noted "Convos, HipChats, Socialcasts and Yammers" (and Telligent, Lithium, IBM Connections, JIve, Mango Apps, Evoq Social, etc.etc.etc.). These are systems to be used by companies for employee to employee, employee to customer, and customer to customer (and in some cases "intra-trade") communications. There are over 1,600 different content management systems out there, so you can assume there's going to be a similar slew of ESNs. Whether Slack ever catches on enough to be a real player remains to be seen, but Facebook's success or failure shouldn't have anything to do with it.

Arris Arris said:

Not sure where that image link came from (and don't like that I can't delete the mistake). Here's my full comment...

The comparisons to Facebook and other social media sites don't apply if Slack is an ESN ("network" vs. "media" . The better comparison is the author's noted "Convos, HipChats, Socialcasts and Yammers" (and Telligent, Lithium, IBM Connections, JIve, Mango Apps, Evoq Social, etc.etc.etc.). These are systems to be used by companies for employee to employee, employee to customer, and customer to customer (and in some cases "intra-trade" communications. There are over 1,600 different content management systems out there, so you can assume there's going to be a similar slew of ESNs. Whether Slack ever catches on enough to be a real player remains to be seen, but Facebook's success or failure shouldn't have anything to do with it.

The image link is usually text translated into smilies, for some reason the news comment stream shows it as a link, whereas the forum software displays it correctly

1 person liked this | StoneSTL StoneSTL said:

That's fricking annoying (plus confusing -- why does it think quotes with a closed parentheses is a smiley, shouldn't it be a colon anyway (I don't use emoticons, but really?)

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

That's fricking annoying (plus confusing -- why does it think quotes with a closed parentheses is a smiley, shouldn't it be a colon anyway (I don't use emoticons, but really?)

That's probably a bug and I'll tell Julio about it so they can fix it.

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