six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Slack dons some nice threads

It’s come up in more than one of the Slack rooms I’m in1: with people spread across a wide variety of timezones, conversations often happen in a disjointed fashion. The folks over in Europe wake up, catch up on last night’s conversations from the West Coast, and then start resurrecting topics—the dreaded thread necromancy.

But Slack is out to fix that problem—and, I guess, help out business that might have related problems—by adding its top-requested feature: threads. Now you’ll be able to reply to a Slack comment and have it noted beneath the original comment, along with your profile picture. Unread threads will be collected in a single place in the sidebar, and you can have replies posted both to a thread and the original channel.

Slack threads

Threads are rolling out gradually over the next couple days, and I’m interested to see how they actually get used. Slack seems to be pretty conservative with major changes to its core functionality, and that often means that even the most inconsequential of them seem to garner pretty wide adoption. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, emoji replies!)

The trick with threads is finding a way to integrate them that is separate from just, say, creating a new channel or direct message conversation, but at the same time not so obtrusive that it’s going to bother the people who aren’t actively engaged in threads. Slack seems to be aiming to walk that tightrope, and over the next couple days we’ll see whether it sticks the landing.


  1. I think I’m up to 10. No, I don’t have a problem, you have a problem.  ↩

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[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at dan@sixcolors.com or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]