Slack is down as Salesforce's big acquisition gets a rocky start to 2021 [Update]

Slack may have ended 2020 sitting pretty on a $27.7 billion acquisition by Salesforce, but it's starting the first workday of 2021 for many with some unexpected downtime. Many US workers trying to log into their workplace messaging this morning discovered that they simply couldn't get the system to load.

Those who could get connected to Slack, meanwhile, often found that they couldn't load the channels they needed. Slack supports splitting different team and topic conversation rooms into various channels, to better organize and delineate projects and groups of workers.

Slack acknowledged the issue at 10:14AM EST today. "Customers may have trouble loading channels or connecting to Slack at this time," the company posted on its status page. "Our team is investigating and we'll follow up with more information as soon as we have it. We apologize for any disruption caused."

30 minutes later, the company confirmed that not only was the issue still ongoing, but that the problem still hadn't been pinned down yet. "We're still investigating the ongoing connectivity issues with Slack," the company posted. "There's no additional information to share just yet, but we'll follow up in 30 minutes. Thanks for bearing with us."

It's unclear at this stage just how many of Slack's users are struggling to connect to the service. The company offers both free and paid plans, and has found huge success at some of the biggest companies in the world across a wide variety of industries.

That popularity led to Slack Technologies, the company behind Slack's messaging client and platform, successfully going public on the New York Stock Exchange in mid 2019. On December 1, 2020, Salesforce announced that it would acquire Slack Technologies for $27.7 billion in cash and stock.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing, mind. As well as periodic downtime, Slack has also found itself embroiled in a number of lawsuits. In mid-2020, it accused Microsoft of anticompetitive behavior, filing a lawsuit with the European Commission. Microsoft, Slack argued, was illegally bundling Microsoft Teams – which competes directly with Slack – with Microsoft Office, and taking advantage of its dominance in the PC space as a result.

Update: In an update at 11:20am EST, Slack acknowledged that the outage is more significant than it originally stated. In addition to connections and messaging being impacted, Slack now says that search, link previews, apps/integrations/APIs, posts/files, workspace/org administration, login/SSO, notifications, and calls are all affected.

"We're continuing to investigate connection issues for customers, and have upgraded the incident on our side to reflect an outage in service," Slack said of the update. "All hands are on deck on our end to further investigate."

Update 2: In an update at 12:29pm EST, Slack said that some users might be able to use its services if they refresh. "While the issue is largely still ongoing," the company posted, "we believe some customers may see improvement in connecting to Slack after a refresh (CTRL/CMD + R)."