Today, Slack, a popular internal chat application, announced that it added 7,000 new customers between February 1st and March 18. That is 47 days. For context, Slack added 5,000 customers total in its preceding quarter, making its recent customer adds impressive.
Slack, like other companies whose products can help facilitate remote work, has seen a boom in usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced people to work from home. TechCrunch covered that fact this morning, saying that the company’s success would depend on how many of its new users became customers. Today’s SEC filing indicates that the newly public entity is succeeding in its efforts to monetize recent usage gains.
Shares of Slack stock are up 19% as of the time of writing, broadly higher in a day of positive trading. We’ll update this post at the end of trading to see where the firm wraps the day. The company was previously dinged by investors for not posting higher guidance during its most recent earnings report.
In its most recent quarter, the fourth of its fiscal 2020, Slack added 5,000 customers, growing from 105,000 at the end of its fiscal third quarter to 110,000. In seven weeks then, Slack has grown its customer count by 6.4%, or a hair under 1% each week.
Earlier today Microsoft announced that its competing Teams product had crested the 44 million daily active user (DAU) mark, a figure far greater than what Slack has announced to date. We might consider this new SEC filing as a way for Slack to not only flex its recent gains in front of its current investors, but also to combat Microsoft’s recent PR push.
Teams added 12 million of its total DAUs from March 11 to March 18, underscoring the huge demand the two products are seeing today.
Slack’s product efforts
While Slack is seeing rising usage and, as we’ve learned today, rising commercial application of its service, the company is also turning out a good number of changes to its service.
Slack recently announced a simplified interface to make user experiences more smooth. While the company has felt more useful than ever before, with the massive move to work from home across the world, Slack claims that users have always relied heavily on the platform.
As for whether or not it can handle the remote work boom, Slack sounds confident. It had connectivity issues with calls last week, but resolved the problem within a day. (Teams has also had some recent outages.)
In a memo about business continuity, Slack said that “the demands on our infrastructure do not change when employees shift away from working together in the same office; there is no difference in load on our systems whether people are connecting from their office, a cellular network, or their homes.”
But nine hours a day for work is becoming more than just the singular use case for Slack.
Slack is often looked at as a haven for workplace communication. We’re seeing a bunch of more use cases, perhaps spurred by social distancing: support groups for founders, alumni groups, and even groups for students who want to make better use of their time while taking classes remotely.
Today’s news, coupled with the trends coming out of this, positions Slack more as a virtual community than just another work productivity tool.