Slack loses its mind, now lets you direct message anyone you want to

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What you need to know

  • Slack is now allowing everyone to DM everyone else across the entire service.
  • The feature is available to paid users now, with free users getting it in the future.

Slack, an instant messaging platform that is almost exclusively used within businesses, now allows users to send DMs to anyone whether they're part of that Slack workspace, or not. The feature is rolling out to paid users right now while everyone else will reportedly get it soon.

Announced via a blog post and spotted by The Verge, the feature is called Slack Connect DMs and the whole thing works by asking the recipient's permission first, at least.

Simply send an invite to any partner, and start messaging in Slack as soon as the other side accepts, speeding up the work that often starts over back-and-forth emails. A salesperson can form a direct line of contact to prospects, or a customer service agent can triage an issue faster, without waiting for the other side to check their email. Soon, we'll expand Slack Connect DM invitations to all teams, including those on free subscriptions.

James Dyett, Head of Global Product Sales and Payments Optimisation, Stripe, seems particularly pleased with the idea.

Being able to message anyone in Slack is going to jump-start new customer connections, enabling us to kick off sales opportunities and start critical conversations earlier.

I'm not so convinced, however. The beauty of Slack has so far been that it's as private as things on the internet can be, with people needing to be invited to workspaces in order to converse. I can see some people being bombarded with requests for DMs, although it does appear that workspace administrators can turn the feature off altogether.

I might be decidedly wary of this move, but Slack still remains one of the best messaging apps around. Or, at the very least, most-used! Still, I'd rather Slack produce something a little less power-hungry while we're on the move. Until then, maybe it's time for a new MacBook with better battery life.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.