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Slack begins distributing 'clips' of video and audio messages

In another example of the growing trend toward "asynchronous" communications, Slack is rolling out a video and audio messaging tool that allows employees to send short recordings to colleagues rather than scheduling lengthy meetings — another example of the growing trend toward "asynchronous" communications.

Create short recordings — "clips" — that users can send to colleagues via direct messages or upload to channels where they can be accessed whenever it is convenient for them. Respondents are then free to respond in whatever format they prefer, whether it's through video, audio, or text.

It is possible to slow down or speed up the clips, which are live-captioned, when they are accessed, depending on your preference. Slack's app also allows you to search for text that has been automatically generated from video and audio recordings.

It is possible that video meetings, which require attendees to schedule time in their calendars, will be replaced by recordings for certain purposes. This will make it even more difficult to find time for remote workers who may work across multiple time zones or those who have flexible work schedules. Instead of scheduling a team video call to provide a daily status update, Slack users can create a short video outlining their progress and upload it to the platform. Alternatively, a team can record a presentation about achieving a goal that can be easily shared across the company in a more engaging manner than a written message can be distributed.

The clip feature, according to Noah Weiss, Slack's vice president of product, is "a really easy and quick way to natively record video, audio, and optionally a screen share in Slack." What Slack has always been really good at — this flexible shifting between asynchronous and simultaneous communication— is enhanced by the addition of an additional layer of texture and expressivity on top of the foundation.

The launch is the latest step in Slack's plans to broaden the ways in which users can collaborate within its platform, with the goal of alleviating the video meeting fatigue that has been frequently cited during the pandemic-driven rise of remote work, according to the company. Following the introduction of Slack Huddles earlier this year, which allows users to jump into real-time audio channels for more spontaneous and informal conversations, this is the second major update to the platform.

The research director at IDC, Wayne Kurtzman, stated that Slack is making it easier to communicate in more ways — text, audio, and video — and that each is becoming part of the team record as a result. "While some may consider this to be gimmicky, people are increasingly utilizing these new forms of communication; Slack is keeping up with how people communicate outside of the office environment. That is beneficial in terms of long-term adoption and retention."

Slack clips are now generally available, and the company has stated that the feature will be made available to paid users in the fall of this year.

Sponsored connections for Slack Connect have also been made available to businesses, as announced at Dreamforce this week. Sponsored connections make it easier for businesses to collaborate with external partners, clients, and customers.

Slack Connect, which was launched last year, allows up to 20 individual companies to chat and share files in a single dedicated channel, rather than having to create separate guest accounts for each company. According to Slack, approximately 90,000 organizations are now using Slack Connect.

Previously, the feature was only available to paid customers, which meant that all parties involved in a shared channel Connect were required to have a subscription. Customers of Slack's premium business product — Enterprise Grid — will be able to host external partners without being required to also pay for Slack starting later this fall.

When collaborating within a sponsored Slack Connect shared channel, these external users will be able to access premium Slack features such as Huddles and "clips." They will have the same access to product features as free tier users when they are not using the shared channel.

After a 90-day free trial period, Slack customers on other payment tiers will still be required to pay for Slack through third-party partners.

Government customers will be able to meet the most stringent government compliance requirements when using the collaboration tool, according to a preview of GovSlack, which was also announced by Slack. This entails raising FedRAMP compliance from Moderate (which was added last year) to High and incorporating DoD IL4 into the mix.

GovSlack is hosted in a separate instance within one of Slack's Amazon Web Service-hosted data centers, specifically the AWS GovCloud (US) cloud, and is accessible only by Slack employees.

Essentially, it's Slack in a walled GovSlack island from which you can't get out, but you can collaborate with many other agencies and companies while you're there, explained Weiss. The result will be a separate version of Slack Connect where US government agencies and their contractors can collaborate while still adhering to industry regulations, as an example.

While Slack has been "government-ready" for some time, according to Kurtzman, the addition of GovSlack clarifies the value proposition for customers in the public sector. Slack and Salesforce will avoid having to explain that Slack is government ready — and they will be able to focus on the problems that government buyers are trying to solve.

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