Slack just fixed its greatest weakness

Slack, the fast-growing service that thousands of businesses use to communicate internally, has finally added group messaging.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Slack announced that it now lets up to 9 people be part of a direct message thread. Previously, these threads were limited to two people.

Group direct messages are searchable like public channels in Slack, and each thread’s notification preferences can be managed like a normal channel.

There’s also a new keyboard shortcut for switching between direct messages: CMD + Shift + K on the Mac and CTRL + Shift + K on Windows.

Adding group messaging in Slack solves a workaround that its users were doing (including Tech Insider, which uses Slack internally) to create private group conversations. You would previously have to make an channel — which is normally reserved for allowing an entire team within a company to communicate — and only invite a few people.

Now Slack is labelling these kinds of channels as “private channels,” which essentially means that they can’t be viewed by other people in a company without an invitation. Private channels are designated with a little padlock icon next to their name in Slack’s main sidebar.

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