Slack Is Trying to Replace Meetings With an Instagram Stories-Style Feature

Slack Is Trying to Replace Meetings With an Instagram Stories-Style Feature
Photo: Drew Angerer / Staff, Getty Images

In a major stroke of innovative brilliance the likes of which Silicon Valley has never seen before, Slack announced this week that it will become the latest in a long line of tech companies to roll out a Stories-style feature.

During the annual Dreamforce conference run by its parent company, Salesforce, Slack announced that the feature — which will be known as Slack Clips — will allow users to share video, audio, and screen recordings in channels and direct messages. The announcement comes almost exactly a year after Slack confirmed last fall that it was experimenting with an “asynchronous video” feature that would allow users greater flexibility with how and when they participated in work huddle-ups.

“Imagine the daily standup meeting that happens from 9 to 9:15 every morning. What if you could record your update at 8:53 a.m. and watch the others at 10:51 when it’s more convenient for you?” Slack wrote in an October 2020 blog post previewing the feature. “This gives people the information and updates they need, with a measure of flexibility that is usually missing in today’s setup.”

Slack is, of course, not the first company to experiment with a Stories feature styled after Instagram’s disappearing content feed in recent months. Decorating the hallowed halls of the Museum of Trying To Make ‘Stories’ Happen are Reddit (which is currently test-driving a new short video feed on its iOS app), Twitter (which recently canned “Fleets,” its version of Stories, after less than a year) and TikTok (which is rumoured to be experimenting with a disappearing Stories feature of its own).

But rather than being an outlet for users to experiment with wacky face filters, as many of the other Instagram-descended Stories features have amounted to, Slack’s iteration has been envisioned strictly as a way to share work-related updates. The feature, it’s worth noting, seems explicitly designed to work within the work-from-home frameworks employees increasingly find themselves in during the pandemic. Sharing updates on Slack Clips would make it more convenient for colleagues to share updates across timezones, for example, by eliminating the dreaded process of finding a meeting time that works for disparate team members.

Slack is in the process of rolling out Slack Clips now, and all paid teams should be able to access the feature sometime this spring.