Software

Slack debuts private shared channels for confidential business communication

Private shared channels will let multiple organizations work together on the platform, and share content that cannot be searched by the rest of the company.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Slack's private shared channels allow users to create private groups and share information that will not appear in public search results.
  • More than one third of Slack's paying customers already use Shared Channels in beta.

On Tuesday, Slack announced the launch of private shared channels that allow multiple organizations to work together on the platform. Private shared channels could be a great option for businesses that deal with confidential or classified data, as noted by our sister site ZDNet.

Slack rolled out Shared Channels in beta in September 2016, which let employees from different organizations—such as an enterprise and its vendors—communicate on the platform. More than one third of Slack's paying customers are already using the channels in beta, to complete tasks such as coordinating with vendors, planning with agencies, and providing services to clients, according to a Wednesday blog post from Slack.

As is the case with regular private channels, Slack users will need to be invited to view or join a private shared channel, the post noted. However, while the content of public shared channels is searchable by others in a company, the content of those private channels will not appear in search results to people who are not included in the group.

SEE: IT leader's guide to achieving digital transformation (Tech Pro Research)

Slack administrators can decide if a given shared channel is set as public or private for their workplace—so a shared channel could be public on one side and private on the other if the companies choose, the post noted.

"A shared channel discussing a potential merger may be private for both workspaces," the post stated. "On the other hand, a channel in which a company and its PR agency are discussing an upcoming launch may be kept public for the company but private for the agency's workspace to limit the news to the account team involved."

To manage and consolidate shared channels, administrators can go to a new Administration section in their workspace menu, and click on "Manage shared channels." This allows them to see all of the external workspaces that their company is connected to on Slack, how many channels are shared with each workspace, create new shared channels, and stop sharing any shared channels, from one place.

Slack has been widely adopted in the enterprise, with more than 9 million weekly active users, and 2 million paid users, ZDNet noted. The new private channels feature could further expand their dominance into more highly-regulated industries, or those that regularly deal with sensitive data.

Also see

screen-shot-2018-01-16-at-4-29-37-pm.png
Image: Slack

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox