Slack is a business communication software that offers many Internet Relay Chat (IRC) features such as chat rooms – called “channels” on Slack – organized by topics, private groups, and direct messaging. It began as an internal tool for the company Tiny Speck used during the development of an online game. Slack launched in August 2013 by the American software company Slack Technologies.
Slack features two main methods of communication: channels (group chats) and direct messages. Channels can be public, meaning any member can join, or private, meaning only members of that channel can see it or invite others. Direct messages are always private and can include up to eight people.
Content, including files, conversations, and people, is all searchable with Slack. Users can add emojis to their messages, and other users can add emojis to react to the messages. In addition to emojis, users can reply to specific messages, add gifs, see RSS feeds, set reminders, and get add-in notifications. Slack’s free plan allows the 10,000 most recent messages to be shown and searched.
Slack is easy for non-technical users to pick up because the chat features are straightforward. It integrates with over 1,500 applications like Google Analytics, GitHub, MailChimp, Salesforce, and Zapier. Slack provides an application programming interface (API) for users to create applications and automate processes.
Mobile access for Slack is available for iOS and Android devices. It’s also available through web browsers on macOS, Windows, and Linux systems.