The abundance of useful services on the market today makes life easier for any company. Special apps, utilities and tools now perform tasks that used to be done manually. The problem is that there wasn’t any development available, capable of uniting all these services, or at least integrating with them. Fortunately, this problem was solved quite recently.
Slack is a one-of-a-kind development that was up to the task of integrating a huge bulk of services in one simple application. Many companies have gotten hooked on this panacea, because it really is handy.
Messenger features and history of its creation:
Slack’s beta version was launched in August 2013, while the public release was in February 2014. On the day of the testing, more than 8,000 companies registered in the app
The development is marketed as a “corporate messenger” and “Skype and corporate email killer”
According to corporate data, these are the app usage stats: 1.1 million daily users.
Thanks to its growth, the app became one of the fastest-growing business apps in history
Stewart Butterfield created the messaging app. He is also one of the co-founders of online photo management and sharing application Flickr
In 2009, Butterfield founded Tiny Speck, which consequently developed the MMO Glitch. After the game came out in 2011, it was thrown right back into beta testing, then shut down all together. However, in the process of creating the game the development team came up with a tool for exchanging messages, which later became the basis of the corporate messaging app Slack
Initially, a team of just 16 people worked on the application. Today, the company employs 180 specialists
Interface and capabilities:
- The messenger offers two deals. Free of charge and for a fee. The free version of the app has a limit on file uploads (5 gigabytes) and the number of integrated services (five). Additionally, the free version lets you search through the last 10,000 messages.
- Slack has two tariff plans on offer — Lite and Standard (two more — Plus and Enterprise – are in the pipeline). The free Lite version includes: search through an archive of 10k messages; 5 gigabytes of file storage; support of up to five external apps; iOS and Android apps. The paid version doesn’t have any limit on the message archive and the number of supported integrations — it costs $6.67 a month, provided that you subscribe for a year.
- Slack works through “channels”. Each channel is a separate chat ideally meant for a specific topic. It is very convenient for any firm, regardless of the size of its staff team. This communication tool lets us manage the work of different departments in one place.
- The only setback of the channel system is that users must join specific channels in order to see the discussion. However, once a channel is joined, the entire message history is revealed to the user.
- Slack uploads links and images to chats, showing a little preview. The system is a lot like the one used by social networks, such as Facebook, VK. Here’s an example of one of Slack’s projects Meduza
- Slack is integrated with many third-party extensions such as Dropbox and others
- User feedback suggests that the app has a lot more quality to it than the competition because it doesn’t consume your device’s juice as much.
- It’s got a web version and Android and iOS clients
- Messages are stored on separate servers, so you can access them anytime, anywhere
- Swiftly search through messages and even documents
- Slack uses a fairly neat push notification system. The app displays new messages in separate channels with one icon and personal messages to the user with another. The app also makes use of the so-called “mention” feature – addressed messages. Similar to Twitter and its @username tag. Use mention to “summon” any user in a separate chat and make the entire correspondence available to him/her
- With Slack users can exchange files and upload them to the app, but keep in mind your tariff plan when selecting large files
- Slack provides users with detailed statistics on how they use the app
- The communication tool does not support audio or video calls. Nothing but chatting
The company had three investment rounds – B,C and E
Slack bagged $42.75 million in round three. At the time, around 60k people used the app daily, with about 15 thousand of them being owners of the paid version
Round B saw the arrival of another $120 million. Slack was valued at $1.12 billion. 268 thousand people used the app by then, with 70 thousand paying customers.
CEO Butterfield claims that all of the funds will go toward user growth. The company practically didn’t market the development
Yet another $160 million came with round E talks. By then, Slack managed to expand its staff team to 125. Its number of users jumped up to 700 thousand daily users. 200 thousand of them were willing to give money for the opportunity to use the app. This time, the money was put on a bank account, because Slack still had funds left over from the previous rounds.
App- and company-related events:
Last October, users spotted a security flaw in Slack, which allowed anyone to look at the projects of the companies that use the service. Among them were such giants as Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.