Slack Will Soon Allow People From Any Company to DM You

Slack really wants to liberate users from their email inboxes.
Slack really wants to liberate users from their email inboxes. / Stephen Phillips -, Unsplash

For people who spend most of their professional life communicating with colleagues working within the same company, Slack is extremely convenient. Being able to give every topic, group, and project its own “channel” for discussion is an easy way to help keep you organized without any extra effort on your part. If your job entails constant collaboration with people from other companies, however, you probably still end up using email quite a bit.

To encourage everyone to shift their inter-company communications away from email inboxes, Slack recently created Slack Connect, an updated version of the platform that lets you share channels with multiple businesses. And in early 2021, Slack Connect will debut a new feature: the ability to direct message Slack users from any organization.

Before you start worrying that your Slack inbox will soon be flooded with random requests from strangers, there are a couple important things to note. First, the feature is specific to Slack Connect, so companies with regular Slack subscriptions won’t have access to it. Second, in order for someone from outside your organization to DM you, they’ll need to have your private DM link or QR code. If you do want to invite outreach, you could post that information publicly; or, you can simply reserve it for people you already know.

“You could put a link on your Twitter profile or a QR code on your business card that people could use to connect with you,” Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield told The Verge.

Butterfield likened it to BlackBerry’s PIN feature, which allows people to send messages using PINs, rather than email addresses. The difference is that Slack Connect members will be able to approve or deny messages from outside users (similar to how Instagram and Facebook let you accept or reject DMs).

Though DMs are meant to be private by nature, it is possible that your company has access to yours—here’s how to check.

[h/t The Verge]