Over the past few years, we’ve become fond of Slack, which we use for internal TidBITS staff discussions, the public SlackBITS group where we gather to watch live Apple events, and (for some of us) family Slack groups that allow us to avoid Facebook (see “Fed Up with Facebook? Move Your Family to Slack,” 12 February 2019). The massive (over 35,000 users) MacAdmins Slack group is also valuable for anyone supporting Macs.
The cloud-based business services company Salesforce must also find Slack valuable because it’s paying $27.7 billion to buy Slack. Although Slack went public in 2019, it has struggled since, despite the massive increase in remote work during the pandemic, all while competitors like Microsoft Teams have grown rapidly.
The deal won’t clear until next year at the earliest, but we don’t see why it wouldn’t pass scrutiny. It’s a natural move for both companies. While Slack is dearly beloved by techies, it has a hard time monetizing its service. Salesforce will likely be able to improve sales, especially with the integration of Slack chat into its other business services.
Although it’s too early to speculate about how Slack might change, we and many other tiny businesses, non-profits, and workgroups hope that the post-acquisition Slack continues to offer its limited free tier of service.