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In which case, some explanation: Slack is a workplace messaging app that lets co-workers easily carry on an assortment of group and individual conversations, some private and some public, all organized in a simple user interface; it’s chattier than sending an email, less of a hassle than scheduling a meeting.It’s also easy to use on your phone — not so different from sending a text — and perhaps because of that ease, or because of the bright Silicon Valley affect it shares with services like Facebook and Instagram (Slack’s headquarters are in San Francisco), it tends to foster a dashed-off, emoji-laced vernacular. Such was the case in Laura’s office, where the salespeople, who are generally more senior, use Slack less than the account managers, who are generally more junior.Like Facebook or Twitter, Slack induces the same anxious, attention-hungry rhythm in its users, the same need to endlessly refresh, and gives off the same illusion of intimacy in an ultimately public space.It also makes the line between work and not-work blurrier than ever — the constant scroll of maybe-relevant chatter in your chosen Slack channels registers at times like the background noise of any other newsfeed.Laura works in ad sales at a well-known tech company.

(Whether infinite chatty one-line messages are preferable to an overflowing inbox is debatable; for now, though, Slack retains the advantage of novelty.) It integrates the tools you already use, like Google Drive, so you can easily centralize everything.

Its default color scheme is that of a ’90s mall or movie theater (purple, pink, teal), and if you announce that you’ve completed a task, colleagues can respond with a chorus of custom emoji.

A widely beloved Giphy integration allows users to express themselves via gif.

Originally, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield set out to design games.

In 2002, he began work on Game Neverending, an online fantasy video game in which it was impossible for players to win or lose — that project failed, but some of its code gave rise to Flickr.