With its Frontiers conference kicking off today, Slack announced major updates coming to its “Huddles” feature to offer more ways to collaborate with teammates. The pop-up chat feature will be getting support for video, multi-person screen sharing, reactions/emoji, and more. Meanwhile, “GovSlack,” a “digital HQ to support secure government work” will be launching in July for US agencies.

Ahead of the Slack Frontiers conference kicking off shortly in New York, the company detailed some of the major enhancements coming to the platform as well as an expansion for secure government work.

Slack Huddles upgrades

Huddles has been a popular feature to quickly jump into conversation and collaboration with Slack users giving it a 95% satisfaction rating. The company says it’s been the most quickly adopted feature and has been hearing user feedback for “even deeper ways to collaborate.”

Coming later this fall to all Slack teams will be four new valuable features:

  • Lightweight video with one click
  • Multi-person screen sharing, drawing, and cursors
  • Fun, relaxed atmosphere filled with your favorite emoji, reactions, and “stickers”
  • Message thread that automatically saves to channel

“When you’re collaborating and giving feedback in a digital-first setting, seeing teammates can
help you feel more connected. That’s why we’re introducing the option to turn on lightweight
video in huddles.

By default, all huddles will start as audio-only conversations in a simple, minimized screen—we
heard from our customers that they loved the fast, minimal and audio-first experience, so we’re
keeping that intact. But soon you’ll have the option to turn on video when you want to fully
express yourself and see the real-time reaction of your colleagues. Working from a dining room or just need more privacy? Blur your video background so you and your teammates can stay
focused on the task at hand.”

Slack Huddles video

As shown in the top image, Slack is bringing the ability for multiple people to screen share simultaneously. And another handy upgrade will be reactions with emoji, effects, and stickers to “contribute without interrupting the flow of the conversation.”

A specific release date hasn’t been set yet, but Slack says all the handy new features for Huddles will be launching in “fall 2022.”

GovSlack

The other major announcement to kick off Slack’s Frontiers conference is the expansion into an official government offering, “GovSlack.”

The service is designed to offer a digital HQ for US government agencies with all the necessary security protocols:

  • Built to support key government security standards (FedRAMP High, DoD IL 4 and ITAR)*
  • Runs in AWS GovCloud data centers, maintained by U.S. personnel
  • Enables external collaboration with other GovSlack-using organizations through Slack Connect
  • Provides access to your own set of encryption keys for advanced auditing and logging controls
  • Allows permission and access controls at scale through Slack’s enterprise grade admin dashboard
  • Includes a directory of curated applications (including DLP and eDiscovery apps) that can integrate with Slack

“*GovSlack is currently pursuing FedRAMP High and DoD SRG IL4 compliance certifications.”

Slack says the new US government offering will be a “natural companion” with Salesforce’s Government Cloud Plus and will also work with a directory of trusted app partners.

GovSlack will be launching in July for US government agencies. Those interested can reach out to Slack for more information on trying out the service with more details available on Slack’s landing page.

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Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.