Collaboration platform Flock now lets users work with third parties
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Flock, the team messaging and collaborative workspace platform founded by serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, said on Wednesday that it has added three new features to its offering.

The features focus on improving collaboration between team members through easier chat access and audio calling, apart from reaching out to third parties for collaboration.

Smart Channels, Guest Accounts, and Audio Conferencing via Bridge aim to help users work smarter, the company said in a statement.

"While earlier, admins had to manually add team members to new and existing channels one-by-one - with the exception of auto-join channels - Smart Channels changes the way admins can manage their teams and channels on Flock," said Turakhia, who is also the co-founder of Flock.

Users can now be automatically organised into specific groups and added to select channels, such as announcement or auto-join channels, without waiting for an invite.

"Simply put, new employees and group members can jumpstart team conversations and collaboration without wasting any time," Flock said in a statement.

Smart Channels is powered by Flock’s custom fields feature, which admins can activate by going to the Admin panel.

When users sign in to Flock for the first time, they will be prompted to fill in the custom fields (such as location, department, or reporting manager) specified by their admin. Admins can then automatically organize their teammates into user groups and add them to channels. In addition, users can also enhance their profiles, making it easier for others to connect and collaborate with them.

With Guest Accounts, Flock users can now invite those who don’t belong to their organization, such as vendors, customers or agencies, to work with them without giving them access to their entire Flock universe.

They can do this by specifying the channels and users their guests can access or with whom they can start conversations.

Flock has also integrated the ability to get onto audio calls and conferences instantly via Bridge.

Users can invite up to ten participants (including themselves) and chat for 90 minutes uninterrupted. With this feature, users can connect with each other irrespective of their location, making it suitable for remote teams.

Flock said this feature also works well in instances where users have limited internet bandwidth and no access to laptops or other gadgets as Bridge works on mobile and fixed line phones.

Flock's main rivals in India include Slack and Facebook Workplace. Alibaba-backed Chinese firm DingTalk entered India last month.

Last month, Slack rolled out a private conversations feature that allows two firms to communicate on an invite-only, private basis.

The feature is part of Slack’s shared channels feature, which it launched last September. A shared channel operates on two different workspaces, enabling separate organisations to collaborate with one another on a single platform.

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