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Slack investigating outage, as many return to work from holidays

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Shruti Shekar
·Telecom & Tech Reporter
·2 min read
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The Slack app is displayed on a mobile phone, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in New York. Slack Technologies is hoping to convert more big businesses to its online business messaging service by making it easier for workers in different departments to communicate with each other. The new option, called "Enterprise Grid," represents another major step in Slack's attempt to get more workers and employers to lessen their dependence on conventional email and embrace its service instead. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Workplace messaging app Slack (WORK) crashed as many working from home tried logging in on Monday morning.

The company said in an emailed statement that it was “investigating the issue.”

“We know how important it is for people to stay connected and we are working hard to get everyone running as normal,” a Slack spokesperson said. “For the latest updates please keep an eye on @slackstatus and status.slack.com.”

The spokesperson did not indicate the root cause for the outage, nor did they indicate when service might resume.

Currently, about 4,000 users still facing issues, while more than 15,000 users had initially reported issues, Reuters reported.

The company’s stock was down by 0.92 per cent, trading at US$ 41.84, as of 12:03 pm E.T.

Ramona Pringle, a tech expert and associate professor at Ryerson University, said in an interview that the outage could be related to server issues or because there was an influx of users using the service all at once.

“We tend to think of these cloud services as just sort of floating around and being in our space and that it’s somehow associated with your own WiFi, but they’re all rooted in physical space and physical structures,” she said.

Pringle added that as more people work from home, there’s more reliance on tools like Slack, Zoom, and other communicating tools because it’s a way for us to stay connected with our co-workers during COVID-19.

“What Slack does is, that sense of the watercooler, of the hallway. It’s somewhere you can have those quick catch-ups with people and it’s the closest thing we’ve got to be in a space of people with short conversations where it’s not about any email,” she said.

“It’s really just feeling like you’re present and part of different conversations that are going on.”

Pringle added that the pandemic has forced many companies to rethink how these tools are used and now are all vying to be the top-used service.

“I think financially the prize for any of these companies that become ubiquitous is so massive that they need to think through reliability, they need to think through consistency,” she said. “The one that becomes the brand name is such a huge prize that for sure they’re thinking about how to have backups, how to be flawless because the reliability is second only to usability.”

With files from Reuters