Pulse Flash Read: What will Slack’s new ‘instant audio’ feature bring to remote communications?

  When software solutions recreate the most annoying aspects of the physical processes they’ve digitally replaced, do we want to call that ‘progress’? Take your average Slack channel. How often do you watch with increasing anxiety as two colleagues back-and-forth over something (and not even in a thread, just line after line) only to decide to hop on a Zoom call to resolve the point 25 lines later? And if you’re one of the party, there’s then the process of creating the link, setting up your workspace, waiting to be let in the waiting room, troubleshooting screen share… The physical workplace equivalent would be two colleagues shouting back and forth across the floor for 15 minutes straight, then taking it to the conference room, setting up the projector, trying to connect the laptop… Same same but different. Slack, however, has realized this and in a daylight-grade lightbulb moment may have brought some progress to our digital workspaces. It’s the remote equivalent of: ‘can we just have a quick chat about this?’ Slack will introduce an ‘instant audio’ feature before 2021, letting users 'push-to-talk' without leaving the app. This feature will be added into channels, letting anyone who’s in that channel see what’s happening and dip into conversations if they want to contribute. It’s an attempt to capture the spontaneity of quick conversations when the need arises, rather than trying to schedule those moments in yet another Zoom meeting.  It’s worth pointing out that Slack already has a ‘call’ feature that nobody seems to use. The difference here though is 'instant audio' sounds genuinely intriguing enough for users to explore. That novelty, if it pays off, might quickly turn into habit if users feel better connected to colleagues and ultimately, the organization feels like the team is performing better because of it. Slack has realized a problem that it helped create and found a solution that might just actually make remote work more effective. You might even call it progress. 

Are you into 'instant audio' or is it just another feature you won't use?

Top Answer : Sounds quite disruptive to productivity and concentration to me

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8 comments
5 upvotes
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Pink Hard Drive
Software
Sounds quite disruptive to productivity and concentration to me
0 upvotes
Green USB Stick
Software
I kind of dig it. More likely to use this as compared to Microsoft’s Together mode.
1 upvotes
Pink USB Stick
Software
This feels like distraction-central. Striking that balance between “productivity” and distraction is important for Slack to have lest it lead to Slack fatigue as well. Enabling more notifications / types of communications will (IMO) require that much more cognitive load in the context switching and further tax the user’s already depleted focus.
2 upvotes
Black USB Stick
Finance, Banking & Insurance
When are companies going to focus on getting actual work done, and stop focusing on toys? This is exactly the kind of 'disruptive' tech I want to turn off the minute I am forced to experience it.
3 upvotes
Orange Hard Drive
Educational Services
If I want audio, I'll pick up the phone or use Zoom. Already have it covered elsewhere.
0 upvotes
Red Terminal
Software
In know in US people are not too much into WhatsApp, but one of the features I consider very annoying is the audio clip, specially because it does not have a time limit. It is horrible to look to your phone and see you have a 4 min message from someone you are not sure you can ignore. For me an audio clip feature is cool, regarded that you can set a limit and people use it like "stories", something for up to 15s, and believe, there is plenty that can be said in 15s if one does not want to call. So the ideal would be be time limited and slow mode, limiting the number of messages in sequence.
0 upvotes
Yellow Server
Software
I think Slack should focus on their current set of offerings, which often, like today, are slow due to system issues.  Rather than trying to build on new features.
0 upvotes
Blue Terminal
Manufacturing
We use Microsoft Teams, and the threads in that are annoying enough, there is no way I would then listen to a recorded debate 3/4 thru a thread.  I'll pass on this feature regardless if it is offered via SLACK or ZOOM, or TEAMS
0 upvotes