Voice Calls and Video Conferencing is Coming to Slack


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Social Media Week

Slack is adding voice calls and video chats to their native application, which means teams and users of Slack will be able to have more efficient calls without the need of third party integrations.

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As the saying goes, “ask and you shall receive,” which is exactly what Slack is doing.

Slack’s 2.3 million daily active users and 570,000 paid subscribers requested a video call option built into Slack (most users rely on integrations such as appear.in). The company has already begun rolling out the new “Calls” feature, and eventually it will be available to all teams.

TechCrunch says team administrators, once given access, must turn on the Calls feature via Team Settings. The ideal use for Slack Calls? Well, the VP of Product, April Underwood, told TechCrunch, “If I’m DMing someone in Slack and we want to switch to have a quick voice conversation, it addresses that problem.”

Slack wants to make these Calls a bit more conversational, and will add the ability for participants to respond to one another with an emoji that appears over their profile picture. It’s less distracting than un-muting yourself, and doesn’t require you to type something out. For example, users can send a 👍 or 🙌 when they agree with the person speaking.

Here are the steps to get your own Slack call started (keep in mind, you might not have access yet):

  1. Download the latest version of the native Slack desktop app
  2. Your team’s admin must enable Calls in Team Settings triggering a phone icon to appear
  3. Tap the phone icon at the top of direct messages and group channels, and name the call
  4. To make your call more entertaining, tap the Smiley-face button to insert an emoji

VP of Product April Underwood released a statement on the new feature stating, “our mission at Slack is to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive. Voice calls are a valuable form of team communication, and so a natural fit for Slack, and why we’re already seeing great usage of third-party apps that offer calling options.”

Screensharing is also coming to Slack soon, especially after they acquired Screenhero last year. We’ll keep an eye out over the next few months on Slack building its own tools that are currently available with third party integrations.

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Erica Perry

Content and Marketing Associate , Crowdcentric

Erica Perry is a Social Media Week contributor, and Marketing & Content Associate for Crowdcentric. A recent graduate from Boston College, Erica resides in Boston, Mass.



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