Slack adds ability to direct message people outside your company – CNET

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Slack wants you to talk to people in other companies.


Angela Lang/CNET

Slack, which offers instant-messaging within companies, now lets you exchanges messages with people outside your company. Slack Connect DMsannounced in October, are designed to work with partner companies or clients.

Paid users will be able to use the new feature starting Wednesday, and you’ll need an email address for the person you’re connecting with. To send a Connect DM, you create a new message and should see a “DM outside your company” option in the top right of the screen. Once you click that, you can enter the person’s email address. 

“Once your partner accepts the emailed invitation, they’ll automatically appear in your list of direct message recipients and you’ll be able to message them in Slack,” the company said. “This includes any current user of Slack, even those on the free plan.”

However, the initial rollout of Connect DMS wasn’t entirely smooth. Slack on Wednesday said it’s already making changes to the email invite process after people raised concerns the feature could be used to send abusive or harassing messages. The change was earlier reported by The Verge. 

“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 to Slack Connect DMs,” Jonathan Prince, Slack’s vice president of Communications and Policy, said in an emailed statement. “Slack Connect’s security features and robust administrative controls are a core part of its value both for individual users and their organizations. We made a mistake in this initial roll-out that is inconsistent with our goals for the product and the typical experience of Slack Connect usage.”

Slack plans to expand Connect DMs so that several companies will be able to link together to create a private business network with unified directories, channel discovery and other features.

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