From 2012 to May 2018, the service has moved from 17,000 users to 8 million. That’s especially amazing considering that it started out as the messaging system inside a video game that didn’t get off the ground. (Maybe because the game was called Glitch.) The term slack in this case wasn’t referring to the so-called “slack” or “float” time that you can use to delay a project but still get it done—instead, it’s meant to be an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge.”
Slack’s been called an “email killer.” We use it at PCMag for that very reason (alongside Asana, QuickBase, Google Apps, and more), and it works. If you’re not sure what it’s all about, here’s Slack’s video intro to the service.
If you’re not a corporate titan with a big team, Slack can still work for you. Anyone can create a team for free, but gratis accounts are limited by how many services you can integrate (10) and how many messages you can store (10,000). At that level, it works for families and groups of friends—especially those already familiar with Slack from work.
Of course, if you pay, you get unlimited storage and integrations, with a per-user price that starts at $6.67/month.
Slack Technologies, the privately owned company behind the software, is riding high on its growth; it’s got 3 million paid users—including Target, IBM, and the BBC—and is supposedly worth $5.1 billion.
It’s a Slack world, we just message in it. But we could be better at it; there’s a lot of great stuff under the hood. Read on for all you need to know to get the most out of it and become the Slack guru of your office.
(Note that many links below won’t work if you don’t have a Slack account, in particular a paid Slack account for your team. If you do, most will append your active team name to the front of the URL. Those tips for owners/admins won’t work unless you have that level of access.)