Slack is rolling out the long-awaited Slack Connect, which promises to make communication between companies, partners, and clients more streamlined. Additionally, Slack Connect allows other Slack users to send you a direct message just by sending an invitation. You can chat with clients or friends at other companies, but it might also open the door for spammers.
Update: Well that didn’t take long. Hours after beginning rollout, Slack will make a change to help stop some of the potential Spam vectors. As some users pointed out DM invites let anyone send a customized email, and that could be used for SPAM (or worse, hate messages). Worse yet, opting out of Slack Connect doesn’t stop the invite messages. Slack decided to pull that particular feature. Now invites will always come with a generic message.
The feature allows as many as 20 companies to talk together at a time. Slack is hoping it’ll replace the external back-and-forth email conversations everyone dreads, and make it easier to set up meetings, share business documents, map accounts, and communicate all in a single centralized place. It’s a useful feature for companies and clients who regularly collaborate.
There are already a variety of apps designed to work with Connect, like DocuSign for document signing, Calendly for scheduling meetings, and Crossbeam for account mapping. With Slack Connect now rolling out, however, more are sure to appear and increase the feature’s overall functionality.
Fortunately, if you aren’t interested in being bombarded by other companies (and spammers), you can disable Slack Connect. By default, the channel-sharing feature is set to only let company IT admins approve requests, but with direct messages automatically open to everyone, it’s worth taking a moment to disable the feature if you don’t want to be bothered by aggressive marketers, spammers, and even malicious hackers hoping to slyly steal precious company secrets.
Anyone currently on a paid Slack plan has access to the feature, though it will eventually become available for free users. Additional features—like private business networks and anti-phishing measures—are set to roll out by the end of 2021.