jumper cables
SlackPass might just mark the beginning of the end for forum software PHOTO: Pixabay

Since bursting onto the scene in 2013, Slack has revolutionized digital workplaces across the world. 

Just one month after launching, Slack had over 16,000 users. 

Today, the freemium discussion and collaboration platform boasts over 5 million daily active users

Not Just a Digital Workplace Tool

Slack has become the go-to solution for startups, small businesses and enterprises looking to bring order to their internal discussions.

But thanks to Slack’s open source nature, the digital workplace isn’t the only place where Slack is thriving. Slack has also become a home to communities as diverse as coaches and their students, gamers and entrepreneurship clubs. 

But for the people running those communities, there was never a way to monetize their Slack-hosted audiences. Until now.

Turning Slack into a Subscription Membership Platform

SlackPass is a freshly launched Slack extension that turns Slack into a subscription membership platform. With SlackPass, you can launch paid Slack groups and channels where members must pay for exclusive access. 

Since its launch in Feb. 2017, SlackPass has helped online community leaders process over $11,000 worth of membership fees — and with no competitors in sight, one can only expect that figure to increase.

Key features include custom-printed invite pages, free trial support, an embeddable signup widget and the ability to charge members either weekly, monthly, annually or just once for the privilege of participating in discussions.

SlackPass CEO Lays Out the Vision

Seth Lesky, the co-founder (with SlackPass CMO Tucker Kline and COO Erich Robinson) and CEO of SlackPass, told CMSWire exactly how SlackPass comes in handy for community managers:

“Something exciting happened while Slack was conquering the business world: communities, coaches and content-creators began gravitating towards Slack as well. Slack quickly proved itself as a flexible, powerful platform for these groups but there were some hurdles: There was no way to easily let people sign up, no way to charge for access and no easy way to manage users. That’s where SlackPass comes in.”

Will SlackPass Be the Forum Killer?

Despite reports that Slack’s free version doesn’t support an unlimited amount of users as advertised, the emergence of SlackPass might just be another nail in the coffin for traditional forum software.

After all, the discussion forum software market isn’t exactly bursting with innovation, and the forum scene itself is already going through an identity crisis thanks to the explosive popularity of social media. So, with millions of digital chitchatters already embracing Slack as a discussion platform on a daily basis, the outlook for forum software vendors is bleak. 

What’s more, the growing Slack App library is already bolstering the open source platform with new functionality. 

Time will tell if Slack’s growth will impede existing forum software, but until then, community managers now have the freedom to use Slack like they’ve never used it before — to build standalone subscription businesses.