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Slack rolls out private shared channels to manage confidential content
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Team messaging and collaborative space platform Slack has rolled out a private conversations feature that will allow two firms communicate on an invite-only, private basis, a company statement said. 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.

Slack released the private conversations feature to safeguard sensitive and confidential information of organisations.

“You can now use private shared channels for conversations with your partners that may be more sensitive or include classified information. Like with regular private channels, members will need to be invited to view or join a private shared channel, and content won’t be surfaced in search results to non-members," the company said in a statement.

How it works

Administrators within a chat conversation can choose whether a specific shared channel is public or private for their respective workspace, Slack said in its statement. This means that a shared channel can be public or private on both workspaces, or public on one side and private on the other.

For example, a shared channel discussing a potential merger may be private for both workspaces. On the other hand, a channel in which a company and its PR agency are discussing an upcoming launch may be kept public for the company but private for the agency’s workspace to limit the news to the account team involved.

“Just as with channels inside your organisation, we recommend using public shared channels whenever possible for visibility and shared knowledge. That context can be useful later on — for example, if a colleague needs insight into a customer relationship or vendor agreement, they can find that information easily in Slack,” the statement added.

The company also provides admins a single, consolidated platform to manage the shared channels. Through this, they can view all the external workspaces they are connected to, how many channels are shared within each workspace, create new shared channels, view pending shared channel invitations, and stop sharing any or all shared channels. However, admins will not be able to view the name or content of any private shared channel that they are not a member of, but can stop sharing them as needed.

Shared channels are currently only available for paid teams on standard and plus plans, the company statement added.

According to a ZDNet report, Slack has over nine million weekly active users and more than six million daily active users. Its international customers comprise 55% of the total user base. Slack has more than $200 million in annual recurring revenue and two million paid users, the report added.

Slack said roughly one-third of its paying customers have joined the shared channels beta since launch.

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