Slack announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to the proposed public listing of its Class A common stock. It is expected that the public listing will take place after the SEC completes its review process.
Reuters reported in December of 2018 that Slack hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to lead its initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. According to Reuters, Slack is hoping to fetch a valuation of well over $10 billion in its IPO.
Crunchbase recently reported that Slack disclosed that it had 10 million daily active users. Slack also noted it has 1,500 apps in its directory and penetration into 65% of the Fortune 500.
What does this mean for Slack users? So far, the most notable change is Slack’s new logo. It is understandable for users to become a bit nervous after hearing that Slack, something many people use for work-related projects and communication, may go public. We are just going to have to wait and see what happens next.
Slack posted an apology and an update after its controversial decision to block accounts of users who had visited and logged on from Iran. Slack acknowledges that it did not handle communication well in regards to their decision to block some users.
The problem appears to have happened when Slack updated its system for applying location information to comply with U.S. trade embargoes and economic sanctions regulations.
Soon after updating, we discovered that we made a series of mistakes and inadvertently deactivated a number of accounts that we shouldn’t have. We recognize the disruption and inconvenience this caused and we sincerely apologize to the people affected by our actions. In fact, we also apologize to the people whose accounts we intended to disable in order to comply with these regulations. We did not handle the communication well and in both cases we failed to live up to our own standards for courtesy and customer-centricity.
Slack says it did not block any user based on their nationality or ethnicity. What happened was, at least in part, because Slack uses location information principally derived from IP addresses to implement required blocks.
In my opinion, Slack did the right thing by publicly apologizing for its mistake and also for providing an explanation of what happened. They are being transparent about what led to their mistake. In addition, Slack says it is working hard to restore access to users who access was blocked in error. Slack also provided an email address where users can let Slack know if they made a mistake in blocking a specific user’s access.
It is worth noting, however, that Slack will continue to update their systems over the next few weeks and will be blocking service to IP addresses associated with an embargoed country.
If you travel to an embargoed country, you will temporarily lose Slack access while you are there. I suppose this could potentially affect people who travel to certain countries to visit family over the holidays.
Slack simplifies communication for people who work for the same company. It provides a shared workspace where conversations are organized and accessible. Slack is now collaborating with Marriott and Starwood to make it easier for co-workers who need to attend a conference to figure out which hotel to stay at.
Slack has collaborated with Marriott International and Starwood Rooms. You can now compare and book Marriott and Starwood rooms directly through Slack. (This is possible because Marriott and Starwood merged in 2016.)
To do it, you need to add the Marriott Rewards app to Slack. Type /Marriottrewards and the city where you want to book hotel rooms into any Slack channel. You, and everyone else who is in that channel, will be able to see all available rooms and rates.
Not sure how it works? Slack has put together an example of a group of people looking at hotel information and voting on which one to pick. Personally, I found that watching the example made it a lot easier for me to understand how to book a hotel room on Slack. This might be very useful for people who are planning to attend BlizzCon this November.
Slack has confirmed on it’s blog that there was unauthorized access to a Slack database that was storing user profile information. If Slack didn’t contact you about this situation, it means they do not believe your account was among the ones that were impacted by the security incident.
The unauthorized access took place during 4 days in February. No financial or payment information was accessed. Slack says there is no indication that the hackers were able to decrypt stored passwords. Slack is using a one-way encryption technique on passwords (called hashing).
As a result of this security incident, Slack has released two new features. Two factor authentication (2FA) is now available for all users and teams. They strongly recommend that everyone use 2FA “both on Slack and everywhere else it is available”.
Team owners will now be able to use a “Password Kill Switch”. It does two things. It allows for instantaneous team-wide resetting of passwords. It also causes forced termination of all user sessions for all team members. This means that everyone is signed out of the team owner’s Slack team on all apps and devices.