The sweet story behind why you can set your Slack notification to the word 'hummus'

What started as a running joke has now spread to millions of computers worldwide

This image shows the Slack application displayed on a smarthphone screen in Washington on February 04, 2019.  Workplace messaging startup Slack said Monday, February 4, 2019 it had filed a confidential registration for an initial public offering, becoming the latest of a group of richly valued tech enterprises to look to Wall Street. California-based Slack's filing comes under a special provision of securities laws enabling startups to begin the IPO process without disclosing details of their financing.  / AFP / Eric BARADAT
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If you’re working from home, chances are you are using Slack as an easy way to stay in touch with your colleagues.

If you are, you will be all too aware of the constant notifications that pop up in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, and the little knocking noise that comes with them.

But, if you fancy switching things up – and making yourself hungry in the process – you can switch your notification sounds to “hummus”. Yes, really.

The story behind the hummus notification is actually rather sweet. Back in 2016, one Slack user tweeted the company to ask why, of all the sound notifications they could have, did they have a recording of someone saying the word hummus.

“Because we love our Anna so much that we wanted to save her delightful voice for posterity,” Slack replied. “Also, because hummus.”

The Anna they are referring to is Anna Pickard, Slack’s editorial director. She's British, and her colleagues reportedly loved the way she pronounced the word.

The sound initially started a running joke, available only internally to Slack employees who marvelled at the way she pronounced the word.

Or so Pickard thought. She was then swiftly informed by a colleague that all sound effects were part of the same MP3. “An MP3 of you saying 'hummus' is on literally millions of computers,” she was told in a tweet.

But, it seems the messenger platform decided to keep the sound effect available to all users, because, as it said, hummus. Who doesn’t love it?

To change the sound, simply click on your username at the top of the screen, then go to preferences. From there, scroll down through the notifications menu until you see the sounds and appearance section. There you can change your notification sound, and if you want, have hummus all day long.

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