A number of apps are trying to reinvent how companies communicate internally. Email is broken, public social media may not be secure enough, and the BlackBerry is falling out of favor.
All of this has opened the doors for new programs like Slack that are trying to improve on all these different communications services. And Slack seems like it’s got the best chance of all, having signed up 8,000 companies within 24 hours of its launch.
As noted earlier in the week, Slack comes from Flickr cofounder Stewart Butterfield, so it’s already got a pedigree that’s hard to beat. It’s also hard to pin down exactly what it does: A bit like Microsoft’s Yammer, it’s designed to be a private chatroom that can also aggregate company email, IMs, and corporate intranet data and connect to external systems like Dropbox and Twitter. Slack’s big strength is its search engine, which can loos across all these services to find the data or communication users need–including inside uploaded documents.
Is Slack going to succeed in the long term? It’s hard to tell, not least because the very communications industry it’s trying to outsmart is evolving almost minute-by-minute. It’s already off to a great start.