Slack Thinks You Need Another Video Conferencing App

Gilad Edelman: Literally never.

Lauren Goode: That is the appropriate response. What if I told you that, unfortunately, even more video chat apps are coming your way?

Gilad Edelman: I would ask if we could take this conversation to text, I guess.

Lauren Goode: Unfortunately, we can’t do that, because this is a podcast.

Gilad Edelman: Oh, we’re recording this?

Lauren Goode: Yeah. And we are on video.

Gilad Edelman: Oh, my gosh.

Lauren Goode: Which is why-

Gilad Edelman: Oh, yeah, there I am.

Lauren Goode: Yeah, right. Yeah, we should talk about this.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]

Lauren Goode: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I’m Lauren Goode. I’m a senior writer at WIRED. And as you can probably tell by our intro, my usual podcast, co-host Michael Carole is not here this week. He’s taking a much deserved vacation. He’s out in the woods. He doesn’t have cell service, or maybe he’s just slacking off. But-

Gilad Edelman: Wow.

Lauren Goode: Had to start with a dad joke. But filling in as my co-host for the next couple of episodes is the one and only Gilad Edelman, my fellow senior writer here at WIRED. Hey Gilad, thanks for joining me.

Gilad Edelman: Hello. Thanks for having me.

Lauren Goode: It’s really exciting to have you.

Gilad Edelman: In honor of podcast dad, Calore, who’s out, I have not had any animal products to eat so far today.

Lauren Goode: Really?

Gilad Edelman: Yeah.

Lauren Goode: That’s pretty amazing. How long are you going to keep that up for?

Gilad Edelman: Until right after the podcast.

Lauren Goode: OK, great. I’m sure Mike appreciates any effort you’re making. All right, so we made a joke earlier about slacking off, and that’s because today we’re talking about something that we use every single day here at WIRED, and I’m sure a lot of you do too. I’m talking about Slack, the workplace messaging service.

Slack has really come to define our work lives, especially over the past couple of years, when a lot of us desk workers were working from home. Slack is now its own verb. People say like, “He Slacked me,” or, “Just Slack it to me.” It’s one of these apps that shapes office culture. It sometimes gets people into trouble. But, generally, it enables us to communicate a little bit better when we’re not all in the same office, or in our case, newsroom. So there’s this feature on Slack called Huddles. It launched last year and this lets you spontaneously join an audio call with anyone in your Slack workspace. And now there’s a new, new feature in Huddles. And Gilad, are you ready for this?

Gilad Edelman: Hang on one second. OK.

Lauren Goode: It’s Zoom.

Gilad Edelman: Slack Zoom.

Lauren Goode: OK. It’s not actually Zoom.

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