Slack lets coworkers start ringing one another

New voice calling beta means people can drop the text chat and just talk

Companies that use Slack for internal collaboration now have a new way to communicate. The startup began rolling out a voice calling feature on Wednesday that lets people talk to each other one-on-one or in group conference calls.

It’s a transition for Slack, which until now has focused mainly on text communication. The company revealed yesterday that allowing people to make calls is a big part of its roadmap for 2016, and this initial beta launch is a first step.

Right now, it's available to a subset of Slack users — the company told TechCrunch that less than half of all users have access — but administrators can check if it's available to them here.

When users are talking via direct message in the Slack apps for Mac and Windows or using Google Chrome, they'll be able to click on a handset icon to start an audio call with the person they're messaging.

Users get a pop-up notification that lets them pick up the call and start talking, or decline the call if they’d rather not accept it.

In a channel — a room full of people — callers are prompted to make sure they want to start a voice call, then asked to create a name for the call. After that, a message posts in the channel that allows up to 15 people to take part.

Once on a call, users can post emojis to show how they feel about what’s being discussed.

The good news is that users can’t start calling people willy-nilly; teams that don’t want to use Slack for voice communication can leave the setting turned off.

Looking forward, Slack is still waiting to provide voice calling to its mobile apps on iOS and Android, along with its Linux app.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?