What’s new in Slack: simplified search, channel bookmarks and more

New features to help teams work better—with whomever and whenever

By the team at SlackJune 8th, 2021Illustration by Giacomo Bagnara

As organizations begin allowing employees to return to the office, it’s clear that the traditional ways of working aren’t coming back. Research from the Future Forum shows that 63% of workers want flexibility to get focused work done remotely, while occasionally leveraging physical offices for planning, brainstorming, customer engagements, or staying connected with their coworkers. 

As our work moves to a hybrid mix of home and office, there’s a growing need to coordinate among teams, to collaborate securely with partners, and to ensure that the systems powering your organization are providing the right information to the right people. Thankfully, we’ve got a slew of new features in Slack to help you thrive in this new work-from-anywhere, anytime world.

Use simplified search to find teammates and access critical information quickly

Search screenshot

A company’s accumulated knowledge is only as good as the ability for anyone in your organization to find that vital information at a later date, and we’ve refined search in Slack to be straightforward and streamlined.

You can find what you need faster using simplified search results that let you filter not only by messages, files, channels or people but also add options to search by specific people, at specific times, in specific channels or DMs, or for files of a specific type.

Simplified search: Available now

Surface key information with channel bookmarks

To complement our improvements to search, we’ve revamped the way information is highlighted in channels. Channel bookmarks let you save and elevate your most important information around a project, like links to dashboards, mockups, documents, files and messages. They also highlight pinned messages, letting you quickly locate key conversations with a click.

These bookmarks are ideal for channels with many members in them. Help others get up to speed by linking to essential reports, project plans, and messages. It’s like a roadmap for any project, all at the top of channels.

Channel bookmarks: Rolling out now

Automate and assign granular permissions with newly available roles

Roles screenshot

Slack administrators can empower their people with exactly the permissions they need, thanks to Roles, our new permissions framework.

Roles offers granular control over individual users, letting you set permissions on a case-by-case basis. Customers can also automatically map identity provider groups to pre-set roles, making it easier to do bulk assignments and permissions for every new hire—and helping global organizations scale their businesses on Slack.

Roles: Available now (on Enterprise Grid)

Work quickly and securely with external partners

Today’s work is collaborative at its heart, often requiring outside agencies and freelancers to complete projects. Slack Connect allows teams to securely work with their external partners by bringing everything and everyone together in one place. For example, rather than relying on formal emails to develop a relationship, sales teams can build trust with their customers directly in channels.

Slack Connect DM demo

To speed up work that often starts over back-and-forth emails, you can now send an invite to securely direct-message any external partner, including those not on a paid Slack plan. Unlike email, where anyone can reach you, you’ll begin messaging in Slack only after your partner accepts the invite. 

For example, a marketer can exchange direct messages in real time with an outside designer to get a new logo looking just right. Or after a research meeting, a product manager can invite a customer to direct-message and share the latest prototype for feedback.

Slack Connect DMs: Available now

Connect to external partners in your new hub

Slack Connect hub screenshot

There’s a new home for working with external partners—directly in your sidebar. Here you’ll track invites you’ve sent out, gain more visibility into invites you’ve received, and see a list of other workspaces you’ve already connected to so you can quickly jump into new projects with the people you work with outside your company. 

A dedicated hub for Slack Connect: Available now

Resolve issues faster with a new ServiceNow integration for Slack

ServiceNow app for Slack demo

IT teams and individual employees can now find, submit and manage ServiceNow records, all within Slack. The refreshed ServiceNow app for Slack lets you create and submit a record without having to switch windows or jump between other apps. Your team will resolve issues quickly as agents respond, comment, and collaborate around tickets.

ServiceNow for Slack: Available now

Watch our webinar to get up to speed

With so many revamped and new features, Slack users or administrators who would like a recap, along with demos of them in action, are in luck. You can catch our webinar covering these features and demos on demand, anytime. 

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