A developer’s inside look at where Slack started — and where it’s headed

Salesforce recently acquired Slack for over $27 Billion

Slack offers many IRC-style features

Slack offers many IRC-style features, including persistent chat rooms (channels) organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. Content, including files, conversations, and people, is all searchable within Slack. Users can add emoji buttons to their messages, and other users can then click to express their reactions to messages. Slack’s free plan allows only the 10,000 most recent messages to be viewed and searched

The platform allows communities, groups, or teams to join a “workspace” via a specific URL. Invitations are also sent by a team admin or owner. Slack was developed for professional and organizational communication. It has been adopted as a community platform, replacing message boards or social media groups.

Slack integrates with many third-party services and supports community-built integrations. This includes Google Drive, Trello, Dropbox, Box, Heroku, IBM Bluemix, Crashlytics, GitHub, Runscope, Zendesk, and Zapier. In December 2015, Slack launched its software application (“app”) directory, consisting of over 150 integrations that users can install.

Building a global experience

Since Slack’s early pivot, Hardin says that Slack has been very intentional in the way it has expanded internationally. In addition to creating server caches around the world to reduce latency, Slack localizes completely when entering new markets. The product team, marketing team, enterprise team, app store team, and others all localize the entire Slack experience to ensure it’s relevant to every user, no matter where they are.

It localizes not just the language itself, but also the imagery and graphics to make sure it’s contextual to the countries we’re in. The firm makes sure the blog isn’t only localized but empowers marketers from each country to create their own articles targeted at their specific market.

Slack is an American-based company, but that’s not how the world is going to see tech moving on in the future. Tech should be a global entity, not just a Silicon Valley thing. In a post-pandemic world, the whole notion of Silicon Valley should exist on the internet.

Winning with consistency

It is committed to creating an intuitive UI and human experience, Slack originally found success among developer teams at companies. This led to adoption at businesses ranging from small startups to Amazon and then spread through other functions like marketing, sales, and finance. To ensure Slack is relevant and useful to all types of users, Hardin says their team focuses on providing a consistent experience above all else.

These days more people than ever using Slack as they are working from home. Hardin says this consistency is what has helped the company scale to meet growing demand. The result is a product that people love so much and has been so successful that it’s news when the product has an issue

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