Gift-wrapped Slack workspaces

What’s new in Slack: mobile video calls, DMs with external partners and more

Handy new features to help your teams work better – with anyone and from anywhere

By the team at Slack17th February 2021Illustration by Giacomo Bagnara

A look at the newest data from the Future Forum reaffirms it: flexibility leads to improved productivity. And though that data is about flexible working schedules, we think that the flexibility of your tools also plays a large part. That’s why we’re taking serious strides to ensure that Slack connects you to the people, partners and systems that you rely on every day. From video calls on mobile to one-click reactions and a new way to message just about anyone, these helpful new features let you find new ways to work together.

Keep your co-workers close, no matter where you’re working

Picture this: it’s 16:00 on a Friday, the sun is shining and you’re… stuck in a meeting.

Of course, it’s not an ideal situation. But with hybrid-remote workplaces slowly becoming a mainstay, you could just as likely join this meeting from a hammock in your back garden. After all, when you’re not working in an office, anywhere can be an office.

A Slack mobile video call

We’ve taken a step to make your workplace more comfortable and dynamic by introducing video calls on mobile. Whether you’re taking a one-to-one meeting from the passenger’s seat on a long drive or checking up on a project from the frozen foods aisle of the supermarket, mobile video calls help to support your way of working, no matter what that is.

Video calls on mobile: available now

Next up are reactions. These aren’t just a great way to instil personality into everyday conversations. A quick set of 👀 instantly tells the team that you’re looking into a message, while a ✅ can let an employee know that a request has been approved. And now we’ve made this even quicker, with one-click reactions. You or your admins can now customise a set of ‘reacji’ that will always appear when you hover over a message.

Customising one-click reactions in Slack

Admins can select up to three default reactions for their team, to promote a standard practice of reaction usage. But users can still select their own preferred reactions in Preferences > Messages and media – making a virtual thumbs up even easier than a real one.

One-click reactions: available now

Work quickly with external partners (and securely, too)

No matter what role you have, chances are that your everyday work relies on a parade of external partners, such as customers, logistics vendors and more.

Whomever you partner with outside your company, Slack Connect is the fastest and most secure way to work with them. Up to 20 organisations can work together, in real time, right in the same Slack channel – whether it’s your sales team and a customer, or your marketing team and a slew of production partners that are bringing your virtual conference to life.

Share channels with up to 20 organisations: available now

And while we believe that the best work happens in public channels, we know how often trust and long-term partnerships start with simple conversations between two people. Slack Connect direct messages are the easiest way to connect instantly with trusted partners, and now you can quickly DM anyone, regardless of whether your organisations were already connected in a Slack channel. For example, support agents can help to triage an issue with a customer in real time, or a business development representative can send relevant information just seconds after chatting with a prospect.

Starting a direct message through Slack Connect

Slack Connect direct messages: coming soon

In conjunction with this broad new way to message, we’ve also added a few features to ensure that admins still have visibility and control to keep their companies safe. Admins can now revoke Slack Connect invitations, block file uploads, approve or deny invitations to share channels and more.

New Slack Connect permissions and controls: available now

Connect more of your most vital tools, all in one place

Just as productive work relies on countless people both within and outside your company, we also recognise that work requires many more tools than just Slack. So we’re delivering new ways for you to use them all in Slack.

The latest example: there’s a new DocuSign eSignature app, and it’s a fantastic way to send documents through Slack. With a library of built-in templates, it only takes a minute to create sales contracts, HR onboarding documents and more – all with your own customised agreements attached. Best of all, you can send and monitor the status of your documents in real time. You’ll receive notifications the moment the documents are signed, or you can send reminders when they aren’t.

The DocuSign app for Slack

DocuSign app: available now

Many people say that the best features are invisible by design. That includes Socket Mode, which enables your organisation’s custom Slack apps to live safely behind your company’s firewall. The result is a reduction in security risks and admin overhead, while giving developers access to interactive features such as Workflow Builder, Block Kit and our Events API.

Socket mode: available now

We know, it’s a lot of new stuff! That’s why we recently recorded a webinar that takes you through each of these new features with valuable hands-on demos. View it on demand, and keep an eye out here for future webinars.

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