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Slack Rolled Out A Feature To Let Its Users Message People At Other Companies

by Vanessa Waithera
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Slack rolled out a feature to let its users message people at other companies.

Wednesday morning, Slack rolled out a feature to let its users message people at other companies. By Wednesday afternoon, it was walking the feature back and making changes to prevent harassment after people pointed out that it could be used to send unsolicited DMs and perhaps even abusive emails.

The feature is part of Slack Connected, a tool rolled out last year that is “designed to replace email outside your company,” Slack said in an initial blog post Wednesday morning.

Jonathan Price, Slack’s VP of Communications and Policy, told CNN Business in a statement:

“After rolling out Slack Connect DMs this morning, we received valuable feedback from our users about how email invitations to use the feature could potentially be used to send abusive or harassing messages,we are taking immediate steps to prevent this kind of abuse, beginning today with the removal of the ability to customize a message when a user invites someone.”

At a virtual event hosted by Slack on Wednesday on how to “reinvent work,” the company’s CEO, Stewart Butterfield, touted the new DM feature as a way for employers to have more oversight over their employees’ conversations with the outside world.

Butterfield said:

“We want to make it as easy as possible, and in the best case, as delightful as possible, for two people to use Slack Connect for that to give you a lot more control and a lot more insight into how that communication is happening.”

Paid Slack users will be able to access Slack Connect DMs today, and the company says it plans to roll this out to all teams, including free users, soon. Slack is also working on a new link to together multiple organizations to create a private business network. This feature will launch later this year and include unified directories, channel discovery, and shared apps.

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