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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?