Slack users can rejoice as interactive screen sharing becomes a reality

26 Oct 201733 Shares

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Screen sharing on Slack. Image: Luke Maxwell

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One of the most craved features among Slack users is now here.

The invasion of ‘new enterprise’ companies must surely have traditional enterprise doyens a little confused as workers, not CIOs, make irresistible and irreversible decisions about the platforms they want to collaborate on.

‘You can invite others to write, code, design  –  or whatever working together means to you  –  all directly from your shared screen’
– SLACK

This is the secret sauce behind the popularity of Slack as it begins with a trickle of project managers and employees collaborating before it becomes the accepted norm across entire workforces. And, once a movement gets kinetic and reaches scale, businesses readily pay for the platform.

This energy and enthusiasm sparked the groundswell that has led to Slack now being used by more than 9m weekly active users and 6m daily active users. Out of these, around 2m are paid users, including 50,000 paid teams. About 43pc of Fortune 100 companies are using Slack and, at any one time, there are 3.5m people simultaneously using Slack around the world.

The company has also created its own App Directory, which has more than 1,000 apps that have been installed more than 8.8m times on users’ machines. In fact, 90pc of Slack’s paid teams actively use these apps so it’s no wonder the company created an $80m fund to encourage enterprising app developers.

And now, one of the most sought-after features – interactive screen sharing – has arrived, whereby paid users can share their screen within a Slack call with up to 15 other Mac or PC users by hitting the ‘share control of your screen’ button.

Each participant will then receive their own cursor, along with the ability to type, edit, scroll and click through the contents of the shared screen. When not in control, viewing participants can temporarily draw over the shared screen, directing attention to particular cells in a spreadsheet, lines of a paragraph or anything else they want to highlight.

Screenhero walks off into the sunset

Slack users can rejoice as interactive screen sharing becomes a reality

Image: Slack

The genesis of the service goes back to Slack’s acquisition of Screenhero in 2014. Slack has been taking elements of Screenhero and applying them to its own platform, such as collaborative editing, designing and programming as well as the ability to collectively respond to customer tickets.

Now that interactive screen sharing is ingrained in Slack, paid users will have all of Screenhero’s functionality, without having to jump between the two tools.

Slack users can rejoice as interactive screen sharing becomes a reality

Image: Slack

Slack will be sunsetting Screenhero as a standalone app on 1 December to ensure streamlined workflows within Slack calls. Active Screenhero users not already on a paid Slack team will have access to a 60-day trial.

“Working with teammates in Slack, wherever they are, started with messaging. Then came voice and video calls, followed by screen sharing,” Slack said in its blog.

“And now, screen sharing from a Slack call has gone interactive. You can invite others to write, code, design  – or whatever working together means to you  –  all directly from your shared screen.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com