Slack Adds Group Direct Messages And Tweaks Its Sidebar

Slack rolled out some updates to its popular enterprise chat application.

Slack Adds Group Direct Messages And Tweaks Its Sidebar
[Photo: courtesy of Slack]

If your work team uses the messaging app Slack, you might find that the interface looks a bit different this morning. In a blog post on Monday, Slack explained the changes that some of us here at Fast Company spotted in our sidebar when we logged on today: Slack has added the ability to create group direct messages and has merged the former category of “private groups” into “private channels.”

The idea, it seems, was to declutter the sidebar by removing the “private groups” section–and Slack figured that with the arrival of group DMs, people may not use those private groups as much.

“With the introduction of group DMs, which will cover many of the use cases that previously required private groups, we’ve transformed private groups into the brand new ‘private channels,'” the company’s blog post reads. “Private channels will be shown mixed in with your existing open channels alphabetically, with small lock icons next to the private ones.” Now, when users want to create a new channel, Slack will offer up a toggle button that allows them to make it public or private.

But we here at Fast Company liked keeping our serious, work-related channels separate from our private groups, in which we may or may not debate the men of Gilmore Girls. Some people on Twitter expressed discomfort with the new Slack update as well:

Though the “channels” section of our Slack sidebar now looks a tad bloated, the group DM feature should help tame it. Slack users can create group chats with up to eight people, which should eliminate the issue of starting temporary private groups and having to archive them when they’re no longer of use.

About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.



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