Categories: Technology

Slack Introduces “Catch Up”: A Swipe-Based Triage Feature for Faster Message Management

  • Catch Up Revolutionizes Slack: Slack introduces Catch Up, a Tinder-like swipe feature for quicker message management on mobile.
  • Simplicity Trumps Complexity: Catch Up simplifies organization, focusing on read/unread status, catering to users seeking a streamlined experience.
  • Published by
    Lethabo Ntsoane

Slack, the popular enterprise messaging platform, is revolutionizing the way users manage their messages with the introduction of a new feature called “Catch Up.” This innovative addition, likened to “Tinder for Enterprise Messaging,” aims to streamline the process of navigating through the bustling channels and direct messages (DMs) within the app.

The Challenge of Message Overload

Akshay Bakshi, a product management director at Slack, identified two prevalent issues that led to the development of Catch Up. Firstly, users often face information overload within the Slack app, making it cumbersome to open each channel individually to check and mark messages as read. Secondly, many users leverage their mobile devices for quick Slack triage sessions, such as during morning commutes or lunch breaks.

Swipe Your Way Through Catch Up

Catch Up introduces a novel swipe-based approach to tackle these challenges. Positioned at the top of the app’s homescreen, users can tap on Catch Up to view one channel or DM at a time. By swiping left, users can effortlessly mark the message as read, while a right swipe leaves it unread. This intuitive and fun method is designed to provide users with a faster and more enjoyable way to manage their messages.

A Return to Simplicity

Unlike some of Slack’s recent changes that emphasized organization and categorization, Catch Up takes a step back to the app’s roots. It simplifies the user experience by focusing primarily on the read/unread status of messages. The design encourages a more straightforward approach, resonating with users who prefer a less complex organization system.

The Role of Read/Unread Status

Ethan Eismann, Slack’s Senior Vice President of Design, notes that the read/unread status serves as an “escape hatch” for users not ready to make immediate decisions. This feature allows users to easily mark messages as unread if they wish to revisit them later, contributing to a more flexible and user-friendly experience.

AI Integration for Future Enhancement

While Catch Up currently relies on users’ manual organization of channels and chats, there are plans to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to further enhance the feature. The goal is to leverage AI to summarize and organize content, helping users make swiping decisions even faster and more efficiently. Bakshi hints at more sophisticated approaches to the system in the future.

Availability and Future Developments

Catch Up is set to launch today for non-paying Slack users on iOS and Android, with plans to extend the feature to paid users in the near future. iPad users can also anticipate a modified version tailored to their device.

Looking ahead, Eismann doesn’t envision a card-swiping tool coming to the Slack desktop app anytime soon. However, he expresses optimism about refining the desktop experience to provide users with a more focused mode over the next year.


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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo