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An Important Feature Is Coming to Slack Later This Year

Slack CEO Stuart ButterfieldSlack CEO Stuart Butterfield
Slack CEO Stuart ButterfieldPhotograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Slack is about to get a whole lot better later this year.

The popular workplace chat service is planning to introduce threaded messages later in 2016, founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield told The Verge’s Walt Mossberg recently. With this feature, users can respond to coworkers’ messages in a group chat room directly under their messages, similar to how Facebook users post comments under text, photos, or other posts on the social network.

As a highly requested feature, Slack has been testing various version of threaded messaging internally for quite some time, Butterfield said, and plans to release the feature hopefully in the next quarter. A Slack spokeswoman clarified to Fortune that the company is aiming for the quarter ending in September.

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Threaded messaging’s absence from Slack has been puzzling and frustrating for many users. Despite being popular among a Silicon Valley techies because of its playful design and integration with other services, Slack is far from even the first chat service for the workplace. Yammer, acquired by Microsoft (MSFT), has been around since 2008, while Atlassian’s (TEAM) HipChat was released in 2010, not to mention others like Convo and VMware’s SocialCast. And many of these competitors do offer threaded messages, a feature critical to helping some organizations keep their chat rooms organized.

 

And giving users this type of tools is something Slack recognizes as important. “We are conscious that we need a lot more nuance and ways to restrict the firehose, to give people more control over how the information flows so they can restrict it to what they need… We need better ways for people to catch up,” said Butterfield.