Workplace chat platform Slack modified its new option to communicate across different organisations almost as soon as it was rolled out. The option to send a message alongside an invitation to its new cross-organisation direct message (DM) service was removed due to concerns that it could be used to send spam or abuse.
The company made the change on Thursday, the same day it launched the cross-organisation DM feature. Users will still be able to send DM invitations to people outside their own organisation but won’t be able to add anything to the invite.
“After rolling out Slack Connect DMs this morning, we received valuable feedback from our users about how email invitations to use the feature could potentially be used to send abusive or harassing messages,” Jonathan Prince, Slack spokesperson, told The Verge.
“We are taking immediate steps to prevent this kind of abuse, beginning today with the removal of the ability to customise a message when a user invites someone to Slack Connect DMs.”
The company launched Slack Connect last year, a feature that allows up to 20 separate organisations to communicate within the messaging platform. The hope is that businesses might move away from email into Slack’s instant messaging format. Before the move, Slack users could only use the platform to communicate with people in their own company.
Twitter employee Menotti Minutillio first raised concerns about Slack Connect DMs on Wednesday, demonstrating that you can’t block email invites from harassers without blocking all Slack email notifications.
The feature also opened up the possibility of including malicious links in a Slack DM invite. Slack is generally considered safer from phishing attempts because messages can only be sent by people who have been approved by the channel administrator.
Slack plans to add malware protection and link scanning to the service in the near future.
According to GlobalData’s market intelligence, Slack has raised more than $2.5bn in venture financing, equity offering and debt offering.
Last year Salesforce acquired Slack for $27bn after the number of people using the platform surged due to the shift to remote working during the pandemic.