Communications platform Slack quickly remedied a loophole in their new Slack Connect DM feature that allowed for potential harassment to be sent through chat requests.
The company rolled out a feature Wednesday that allows users to send direct messages to people outside of their own organization with just a request. However, Connect requests can include "arbitrary text," Stewart Butterfield, Slack CEO, told Cheddar and that opens the door for harassment.
The oversight went viral after a Twitter user pointed out how easy it was to send not one but multiple harassing messages through requests.
"This was a little bit of an unforced error on our part, and unfortunately because the feature was about direct messaging, there was a lot of totally understandable confusion, conflating the process for inviting," Butterfield said, explaining that the oversight had been permanently removed.
The feature's intended goal is to allow for easier communication between professionals who work closely but for different organizations. Butterfield said the company began developing the idea during the coronavirus pandemic as the increase of users called for solutions toward simpler communication.
"We ended this year with 74,000 paid customers using Slack Connect. That's up 130 percent from last year, but the density of the network has increased tremendously as well. That's grown 245 percent," he noted.
This comes as the company waits for the U.S. Department of Justice to greenlight the sale of Slack to Salesforce. Butterfield said he's confident the deal will be approved, particularly because the company has no overlapping products and is a partner to every software maker globally.
With at least half of its paid users coming from outside the United States, Salesforce will help the company reach more customers through its expansive network, Butterfield said. When it comes to elevating the business, he said the company looks to be a leader in revolutionizing the workplace of the future.
"It's not just we get to sell more software, we get to transform the way that people work," he said.
If the deal with Salesforce happens to be denied by the DOJ, which Butterfield doesn't believe will happen, he said the company is already trending in the right direction and continued growth is essentially imminent.
"Look, this last year was obviously huge for us. We crossed a billion-dollar runway, we had more than a billion dollars in billings, we had 43 percent revenue growth, and four straight quarters of free cash flow profitability," he said. "We also saw enormous acceleration in the number of paid customers. We added 46,000 this year compared to 22,000 last year and those customers are the basis for the future growth."
For Butterfield, the pandemic was a eureka moment as he recognized the workforce had to become a "digital-first" industry and shake the concept of what the traditional corporation looks like as the world emerges into life after COVID.