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Slack Usage On the Rise

By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

With more users than ever before working from home across distributed teams, Slack's user base is surging.

Collaboration vendor tool vendor Slack had a busy month in March, with strong user momentum and a new service redesign, as the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand for the company's services.

On March 12, Slack announced its fourth quarter and full fiscal 2020 financial earnings. For the year revenue was reported at $630.4 million, for a 57% year-over-year gain. Among the drivers of growth was the number of large customers, with 70 customers now paying over $1 million a year, up from only 39 in 2019.

With the global COVID-19 pandemic, Slack is seeing some challenges and opportunities as well.

"We already see shifts in customer behavior from an increased interest in remote work, and how Slack can be helpful in that transformation, to the potential for hesitation around purchase decisions," Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Slack, said during his company's earnings call.


Barely a week after the earnings call, Slack released a major redesign of its namesake collaboration service. The redesign is an attempt to better organize the way people use Slack.

Among the improvements is a new navigation bar that aims to make it easier to search across different communication channels within Slack. The ability to organize channels into collapsible folder is another key organizational enhancement.

Perhaps the simplest and most eventful change is the new compose button that enables Slack users to start a message from anywhere within the tool.

"It's a convenient way to begin drafting a message, before deciding the person or channel you’ll send it to," Slack noted in a blog post announcing the redesign. "If your attention is needed elsewhere, your draft will be saved for you to come back to whenever you’re ready."

Responding to the Pandemic

In series of tweets on March 26, Butterfield outlined how Slack has been dealing with the global COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that average active usage has surged past a billion minutes each weekday, with 99.999% uptime through absolutely unprecedented growth.

"In some senses, we were made for this," Butterfield wrote. "Slack’s not specifically a 'work from home' tool; it’s more of a 'create organizational agility' tool. But an all-at-once transition to remote work creates a lot of demand for organizational agility."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

This article was originally published on March 31, 2020
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