All the key changes you need to know about the Slack makeover 


If your business relies on the hugely popular workplace communication tool Slack, read on.  

The platform has recently undergone some significant changes, designed to improve integration with third party applications.  


At its most recent Slack Frontier live user conference, the Salesforce-owned company revealed that it has completely “rebuilt and reengineered the Slack platform from the ground up”. It also suggested that the changes were triggered by the pandemic, which has had a bigger impact on the way we work than any other period in history.  


Let’s run through just a few of the key changes you need to know about: 


A drag and drop Workflow Builder 


In the new Slack, organisations can easily create customised workflows without needing to know a line of code. The new Workflow Builder is based on what the platform calls “blocks of functionality”, which you can simply drag and drop into a workflow. You can even drop in pieces of other apps, then customers how they work together.  


Slack claims that 80% of the 400,000 users who’ve built workflows since the changes were made are non-developers. Introducing the updates on its website, it says: 


“Whether you’re tackling approvals, resolving priority incidents or approving PTO requests, the new Slack platform gives anyone the power to automate everyday tasks in more flexible ways than ever before, freeing up your time to focus on what really matters like more strategic, creative and fulfilling projects.” 


Easily connect with third-party work tools and apps 


The new Slack aims to make it possible to connect all your third-party work tools with the platform in just a click. So, this means no frustrating login process or having to click elsewhere to access an external app. All will now be integrated seamlessly and securely within Slack. 


Faster deployment of apps in Slack 


If you do happen to be a developer, you’ll be pleased to know that Slack is working on a set of tools to make it easier to build, host and deploy apps into the platform. Slack says: 


“Currently in private developer beta, our community of more than 1 million Slack developers – who have built more than 935,000 custom apps and integrations – will soon have access to a set of tools, hosting support and data storage that make it easier to swiftly build, deploy and host apps in Slack. 

“Developers will be able to create and ship powerful apps and automations in minutes in an environment that’s secure and compliant by design.” 


Slack Connect and message metadata 


Being primarily a communication tool, it’s no surprise that Slack has beefed up its messaging offer. One of the key improvements is Slack Connect, which enables teams to securely collaborate with people both inside and outside the organisation. This should spell the end of siloed communication, with users jumping between emails, messaging and other channels.  


Another interesting addition is message metadata. As part of the changes, developers will now be able to attach invisible metadata to messages. This can be used to help different apps and tools to communicate with each other over Slack, such as calendar apps for two people communicating to schedule a meeting.  


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