Slack is holding its Frontiers conference this week — virtually like everyone else in 2020 — and it’s introducing some new features to make it easier to message between partners. At the same time, it’s talking about some experimental features that could appear in the platform at some point (or not).
Let’s start with some features to help communicate with partners outside of your company in a secure way. This is always a tough nut to crack whether it’s collaboration or file sharing or any of the things that trusted partners do when they are working closely together.
To help solve that, the company is creating the notion of trusted partners, and this has a few components. The first is Slack Connect DMs (direct messages), which allows users inside an organization to collaborate with anyone outside their company simply by sending an invite.
Instagram now offers cross-app messaging and calling with Messenger.
The plan to merge the two services was first announced by parent-company Facebook in early 2019, with today’s official announcement coming after a trial period that started in mid-August, 2020.
It means that users of Instagram and Messenger will be able to exchange direct messages, photos, and videos with friends and family without hopping in and out of different apps, or downloading new ones.
The change is currently being rolled out on Instagram and Messenger in a number of countries around the world, with a global expansion coming soon.
The social networking giant also intends to merge the messaging services of another of its acquisitions, WhatsApp, in the near future, and add secure end-to-end encryption between all three.
“People are communicating in private spaces now more than ever,” Facebook wrote in a post announcing the update. “More than a billion people
Signal’s logo Credit – Lam Yik/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ama Russell and Evamelo Oleita had never been to a protest before June. But as demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality began to spread across the U.S. earlier this year, the two 17 year-olds from Michigan, both of whom are Black, were inspired to organize one of their own.
Seeking practical help, Oleita reached out to Michigan Liberation, a local civil rights group. The activist who replied told her to download the messaging app Signal. “They were saying that to be safe, they were using Signal now,” Oleita tells TIME. It turned out to be useful advice. “I think Signal became the most important tool for protesting for us,” she says.
Within a month, Oleita and Russell had arranged a nonviolent overnight occupation at a detention center on the outskirts of Detroit, in protest against a