​Slack has enabled a new ‘Slack Connect’ feature that allows users to send messages or create shared channels with people outside of their organization.

While users had previously been able to test the Slack Connect feature, it has begun to roll out to all paid workspaces today.

“Slack Connect is a new way for organizations to drive business forward and communicate with their customers, partners and vendors as quickly and easily as they interact with their coworkers in Slack,” Slack stated in an announcement.

When enabled, Slack users will see a new ‘Slack Connect’ section in their sidebar, that when clicked on, will display a screen where you can create a shared channel or initiate direct messages with external users.

New Slack Connect feature
New Slack Connect feature

Like other messaging apps, to send DMs, users will first send an invitation to another user by their email address. If the user accepts the invite, a new chat will appear, allowing you to communicate directly with them.

Invite external user for one-on-one DMs
Invite external user for one-on-one DMs

If an organization decides that Slack Connect could lead to security issues or the leaking of confidential information, it is possible to restrict who can use the feature or even disable it completely through the ‘Customize Settings’ section.

It should be noted that Slack DMs are not end-to-end encrypted. If you are looking for a more secure line of communication, then other messaging apps such as Signal, Wire, or WhatsApp may be a better choice.