Your boss will be able to download all of your private chats on Slack

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Thinking of Slack-ing off? Well your boss can now download all of your private chats on Slack.

Slack is an instant office messaging service that’s available for both desktop and mobile. It features chatroom-style “channels”, allowing businesses to compartmentalize teams. These channels are essentially public to every member of that particular Slack group, and users can also message each other privately.

But now Slack has updated its privacy policy and tools, and one of the larger changes is a bit alarming to those who use the platform:

Slack customers who pay for certain premium services will be able to download all the data from their workspace–both public and private–apparently without informing members of the community. Which is to say: Information from both private messages and room chats are fair game if the owner of the Slack wants it. (Fast Company)

Before the update, Slack had offered something called “compliance export“, a feature that was only available for customers who paid top dollar, but now with the settings change, this new tool will allow bosses to see all forms of communication between employees.

In short, if you want to secretly and easily spy on your workspace, you have to pay Slack for the option. (Fast Company)

This new feature will be available by April 2018.

What do you think?

Are you a big fan of this new feature from Slack? Or are you opposed to bosses being able to creep your convos?

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments down below!

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Microsoft’s Slack rival gets translation and Surface Hub compatibility

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Teams just turned one, and for its anniversary, Microsoft has unveiled new professional features for it that go well beyond what rivals like Slack offer. Probably the most important ones for enterprises are compatibility with their existing telephone…
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Google just launched a Slack competitor called Hangouts Chat

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Move over, Slack — here comes Google.

This week, Google announced in a blog post that the newest addition to G-Suite has officially come out of beta testing and has been widely released for Mac, iOS, PC, and Android. Called Hangouts Chat, the service is a messaging platform created to help teams collaborate easily and efficiently. Much like Slack, it’s an ideal communication app for the workplace.

Hangouts chat is a part of Google’s core G Suite collection for businesses, meaning that in order to use it you do have to have a paid G Suite account (or, if you’re looking to start an account, a business complete with domain name). The cool thing about that, though, is that because the G Suite programs are all interlinked, teams can share and discuss documents, presentations, and other content created with Google all in one cohesive space. Users can upload items from Drive and work together on Docs, Sheets, or Slides as well as start and join online Hangouts meetings. And if you don’t have immediate access to the room members, past conversations or shared files you’re looking for, you can find them using Google’s powerful search.

Do your team members live halfway across the world? What if you have a really large team? No problem. According to Google’s blog post, Hangouts Chat currently supports 28 languages, and each room can support up to 8,000 members. And because it’s available across multiple platforms, you don’t have to be glued to your computer to use it — you can collaborate even when you’re out and about.

Perhaps the coolest and most helpful features within Hangouts Chat, however, are the bots. The service comes equipped with 25 bots to help you get the most out of your conversations. There are pretty much bots for everything you’d need, including ones that integrate directly with other G Suite apps. For instance, the Google Drive bot (which lets you know when a file has been shared with you) and the Meet bot (which integrates directly with your Google Calendar to schedule meetings for you when you @mention it with the information). The company also says that many third-party apps have also already built Hangouts Chat bots of their own concerning a myriad of different topics, all of which you can freely utilize:

  • Accounting: Xero
  • Analytics: Statsbot
  • Communications: Dialpad, RingCentral, Uberconference and Vonage
  • CRM: ProsperWorks, Salesforce and Streak
  • Customer Service: Freshdesk
  • File Sharing: Egnyte
  • Human Resources: Disco, Polly and Zenefits
  • Meditation & Mindfulness: Stop, Breathe & Think
  • Productivity: Lucidchart and Zoom.ai
  • Project and task Management: Jira, MeisterTask, Trello and Wrike
  • Travel: Kayak

So, interested in giving Hangouts Chat a try? If you already have a G Suite account, all you have to do is go to the Hangouts Chat page or download the app for your desktop or mobile devices. Chat is compatible with Hangouts, so it’ll work with all your existing contacts. If you don’t already have a G Suite account, you can sign up or try it free for 14 days by going here. Finally, if you’re struggling to get started, you can check out the Google Learning Center for help.

Questions?

What do you think about Hangouts Chat? Would you use it for your business communications? Share in the comments!

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Microsoft Teams closes in on Slack by adding guest accounts

Microsoft is giving Teams, its Slack-like app, the ability to invite any guest to a chat room. While you can invite collaborators to a Team room right now, they need to have an account in the company's Azure Active Directory first. With the new featu…
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Google takes on Slack by adding Hangouts Chat productivity tool to G Suite

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Google is increasing its efforts to make its productivity tools indispensable by taking on Slack, announcing its Hangouts Chat app for collaborations between team members will be rolling out to business customers of its G Suite service starting from next week.
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Microsoft’s Slack competitor might get a free version soon

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft launched its Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, just over a year ago. At launch, the software giant only unveiled paid subscriptions for its chat service, with no free or freemium tiers for businesses to upgrade from. It looks like that’s about to change, though. Petri reports that the latest test versions of Microsoft Teams include multiple references to a freemium tier, with options to “upgrade to paid version.”

It appears that Microsoft is testing this functionality out, before rolling it out publicly. It’s not clear how the free tier of Microsoft Teams will work, but if it’s similar to Slack then it will probably be limited to a certain number of people on a server until paid features are required. Slack has had the benefit…

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Apple News Drives Significant Traffic to Stories, Publishers Can Pitch Articles via Slack

Apple News can yield a flood of traffic for news publishers, with the app accounting for as much as 50 to 60 percent of readership for some stories, according to a paywalled report by Tom Dotan for The Information.

Apple News has generated half of Vox.com’s daily traffic at times, according to a person familiar with Vox’s numbers. An executive at the website of a major TV network said Apple News has accounted for as much as 60% of traffic for some stories.

The report claims Apple has an editorial team of about a dozen former journalists, led by veteran Apple executive Roger Rosner, who decide which articles get featured in the Top Stories or Spotlight sections of Apple News, or in the News tab on an iPhone, accessible by swiping left from the first page of the home screen.

The editorial team in the United States runs a dedicated Slack channel in which publishers can pitch stories to Apple, which tends to favor big breaking stories, special features, and multi-part series, according to the report. Apple is said to have similar teams working with publishers in Australia and the United Kingdom.

The curation process isn’t praised by all publishers, as smaller to medium-sized sites say Apple News tends to favor big mainstream outlets, which get featured prominently when users first sign up for Apple News.

A bigger issue that publishers have with Apple News is that many don’t earn any significant ad revenue from the app.

Part of the problem relates to how it sells ad space next to stories. Apple initially used its ad team iAd, but it later outsourced sales to NBC. It has yet to integrate Google’s industry standard ad-serving tool DoubleClick, which publishing executive say would make ad sales much easier.

This may change soon, as Apple has supposedly begun to run a closed test of Google’s industry standard ad-serving tool DoubleClick with around 20 publishers, in line with a report from last July. However, it’s unclear when or if Apple News will roll it out wider, according to the report.

All in all, while Apple News has proved more successful than first expected, there is still some progress to be made as Apple aims to become a key distribution outlet for news publishers around the world.

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Apple News generates little income for smaller publishers, curators take pitches from publishers on dedicated Slack channel

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Apple’s editorial team reportedly takes pitches from large reporting venues on a private Slack channel, and a team of about a dozen staffers decide if the story lives or dies on Apple News, and as a result, what makes money from being spotlighted on the service.
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Google’s testing an Android app that adds Smart Reply to Slack, Facebook Messenger, and more

Google’s messaging app strategy is a huge mess, but one surprisingly useful feature that has extended from Inbox to Gmail to Allo and Android Messages is Smart Reply, which offers three responses based on context for you to quickly reply to your contacts. Google is now working to expand this beyond its own suite of products, and is opening up a limited test to Android users to add the feature to other chat apps, such as Slack and Skype.

According to a sign-up page for the app appropriately called Reply, Google is potentially interested in making the feature work on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, and Twitter DMs. Smart Reply can already figure out basic context to a conversation — for example, if a person sends you an email…

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Slack is latest major service to drop standalone Apple Watch app

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Enterprise messaging platform Slack updated its iOS app on Wednesday and in doing so announced the deprecation of its standalone Apple Watch app, marking the latest major service to dump Apple’s wrist-bound wearable.
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