Slack adds ability to direct message people outside your company

Slack wants you to talk to people in other companies.

Angela Lang/CNET

Slack, which offers instant-messaging within companies, now lets you exchanges messages with people outside your company. Slack Connect DMsannounced in October, are designed to work with partner companies or clients.

Paid users will be able to use the new feature starting Wednesday, and you’ll need an email address for the person you’re connecting with. To send a Connect DM, you create a new message and should see a “DM outside your company” option in the top right of the screen. Once you click that, you can enter the person’s email address. 

“Once your partner accepts the emailed invitation, they’ll automatically appear in your list of direct message recipients and you’ll be able to message them in Slack,” the company said. “This includes any current user of Slack, even those on the free plan.”

Slack is also planning to expand this feature so that several companies will be able to link together to create a private business network with unified directories, channel discovery and other features.

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