Clubhouse started it. Twitter now does Spaces. Discord does Stages. Even Spotify now has Green Room. But Slack's new Huddles feature might just be the cleverest and most sensible use of the social audio room feature yet.
Slack Huddles simply let you start an audio chat directly attached to the channel you're currently working in. For quick, impromptu chatting about a work problem that can be solved faster with a quick conversation than an ongoing thread, this feels like a great way to reduce the feeling that you're having a 'phone call' and bringing back the idea you're just having a quick chat at your desk.
You can also instantly switch from just having your audio on to sharing your screen if that helps move the discussion along. It's one of those seamless things that makes perfect sense – a lot more sense than a lot of those other social audio chats out there, because there's a reason to really quickly dive in and out of this and have it feel different and less official than holding a meeting.
Alongside the Slack Huddles launch, other new features were also added to the work communication suite. You can now very easily record quick video clips as messages into a channel, or even just audio, and you can once again seamlessly share your screen as part of the recording. There's a tool out there called Loom that has been picking up steam for exactly these kinds of purposes, so having this arrive in Slack is a great way to keep it all in one place.
And lastly, but super important for any organisation trying to help staff switch off outside of standard hours, Slack now has a Scheduled Send option for sending that message at a time that seems more sensible than when you had the cool idea at 11:45pm.
Slack is facing bigger competition than ever after a year of competitors playing rapid catch up to become the key virtual office communication platform. And Microsoft is throwing everything at making Teams the default of the future, with Windows 11 including Teams directly integrated into the operating system (surely someone is going to pick a fight with US regulators over that one?)
Byteside uses Slack for our team conversations, alongside Trello for workflow planning, and even on the free tier you get so much value from it. Great to see some really smart additions to the platform!