In short, yes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a regular emoji user—but there’s a time and a place for posting them.
Two weeks ago, Slack added a feature where you can set a status that would display an emoji next to your name as well as your carefully crafted 100 characters message hidden away in a tooltip.
Here’s what Slack’s vision for the feature was:
“Let’s say you’re stepping away from Slack for a bit — maybe you’re grabbing some lunch, taking a week off, or even just focusing on a task for a few hours. Now you can set a custom status in Slack to share what you’re up to, when you’ll be back, whom to contact in your place, or anything else that helps your team know when they can expect to hear from you.”
In theory, setting a status sounds like a useful feature — as well as a nostalgic nod to the days of AIM away messages. But after a week, my slack feeds have definitely started taking on a new look.
Slack sprinkles these statuses all throughout the app, which makes it difficult to jump into Slack and read through messages without getting distracted by all the different emojis and colors.
As you can see, my coworkers along with many other Slack users aren’t conforming to the suggested emojis to indicate a work related status, but instead using it more as creative expression (highlighting their mood, interests, and creativity). And can you blame them when they have a full arsenal of emojis at their disposal?
My gripe is with Slack showing these emoji statuses every time a person’s name is displayed. So when you set a status it’s displayed in about four different places: the side nav, message area, user details card, and in the fixed header of a direct message. This is leading to emoji overload.
My plea to Slack
I’m not suggesting to get rid of this feature altogether, because both the intended and unintended use case both serve value. But can we hide it from the messaging section? It’ll help keep the message area much cleaner—improving overall readability and productivity.