Business communication platform Slack is launching a new audio tool that aims to make communicating with co-workers while working from home a little easier, CEO Stewart Butterfield revealed Wednesday on "The Claman Countdown."
The new "Slack Huddles" features will allow employees to verbally communicate through the app in a way similar to a taxi dispatch or police radio, as Butterfield explained.
"You can be turned in or not, but if you’re tuned in and someone talks, you hear it," the Slack CEO said "It’s a little bit like if you’re a couple desks over from me and I shout out a question, everyone overhears it."
Butterfield differentiated the tool from hopping on a Zoom call. Slack Huddles can be quick, causal hits of conversation instead of 30-minute, prescheduled virtual meetings on Zoom.
"It doesn’t replace Zoom on a wholesale. We’re still a happy Zoom customer," he said. "There’s more tools that are necessary in order for us to cover the whole kind of spectrum of interaction."
Users have full control over access to the tool and have the ability to view who joins huddles. Butterfield described the feature as "really powerful" for smaller group conversations specifically.
"We’ve moved from a world where people think about digital technologies as a supplement to in-person meetings, to something like the other way around," he said. "And maybe we haven’t all realized that yet, but software is a lot more essential to the way that we operate. As you saw in the pandemic, we could give up our offices but we couldn’t give up our software."