New feature: Soon there will also be Slack Stories

The story feature for the communication tool is to be rolled out by the end of 2020. In addition, Slack is adding a push-to-talk audio option to its service.

After Google announced that Web Stories would be introduced to Google Discover, Slack is now following suit. The business communication tool announced that it wanted to roll out both stories and a push-to-talk audio feature by the end of 2020. According to reports from the online portal The Verge, the rapid increase in remote work due to the corona pandemic has led Slack to add the two options to its own service. Furthermore, the number of unnecessary video calls and inefficient text conversations should be restricted. Because in the past few months, employees are said to have repeatedly complained about the time-consuming video meetings. Particularly annoying for many: In the end, these did not bring any progress. Slack wants to counteract this with the introduction of stories and the new audio feature.

Stories at Slack: Do I have to see my employees’ daily routine?

While Instagram users post photos and videos of their pets or their daily life in their story, stories on Slack should not be used for private purposes. Employees should use the format much more to give an update or to set the agenda for the day. Slack explains CEO to The Verge Stewart Butterfield:

It’s very much like Instagram stories, or snapchat stories, but in Slack. […] There was a joke going around that soon all software will have it, and I thought that was funny at the time. But especially during the pandemic […] it’s an idea that’s time has come. […] Instead of having this 15-minute daily stand-up meeting, we can record the video earlier. […] and get rid of the 15-minute meeting?

Slack is still testing where and how the new stories will be placed on the platform in the future. The new format could, for example, appear next to the individual channels or in a bar above the chat window.

“We need room for more than just video conferencing as a means of people communicating using voice and video.”

In addition to the stories, Slack will also have a push-to-talk audio feature in the future. This should supplement the usual video calls and facilitate communication between employees. Butterfield explains:

Video conferencing is obviously not going away, but […] I think we need room for more than just video conferencing as a means of people communicating using voice and video.

The new voice option is intended to enable spontaneous calls with employees within the channels.

This is what the prototype of the push-to-talk option looks like. © Slack / The Verge

Butterfield describes the idea behind the extension as follows:

The idea is we already have channels […] starting a call or scheduling a call can feel pretty heavy whereas when we were all in the office leaning over or shouting out to someone a couple of desks away with a question feels very lightweight, so we’re trying to recreate that

The communication platform is still testing both features. But Butterfield is confident that the stories and push-to-talk feature will be available on Slack by the end of the year.

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