Slack recently introduced voice calls on Mac, Windows, web, iOS and Android. Today, we’ll show you how to make calls to individual team members in private, or to entire channels.
Slack is the one of the world’s most popular team communication platforms. It is loved by hundreds of millions of users for its delightful user experience – a vibrant interface, funky copy across emails, notifications, in-app settings, changelogs, etc. We here at Windows Clan use Slack for communicating, too!
So, we were pleasantly surprised when we heard voice calls are now available in Slack. Previously, we would have to call each other on WhatsApp or Skype when texting Slack wasn’t cutting it. Now, there’s one more reason to stay within Slack.
So, how do you make calls? Let’s discuss how it works on desktop and mobile.
Note: be sure to update to the latest version of Slack if you want to use voice calling features. It goes without saying but iOS/Mac users can do this from the App Store, while Android users need to use the Play Store. Windows users ought to have their app automatically updated.
How to call a single team member
If you’re on the latest version of Slack, you’ll see a self-explanatory phone icon in direct messages / private chats. Simply call on it to start a voice call.
Mobile users need to tap on the downwards-facing arrow next to a team member’s name, and then tap on Call <team-member> to do the same.
How to call an entire team in a channel
On desktop, group calling in Slack can be started just like individual calls. Just click on the call button – the phone icon – from the top bar. On mobile, you first go into a specific channel where you want to call team members, tap on the downwards-pointing arrow and tap the call button.
It’s important to note that group calling in Slack is for paid teams only. If you’re on a team that doesn’t pay a regular subscription, you can only make private calls with other individuals. You’ll need to go for Hangouts or Skype if you want free group calls.
How to use reactions in calls
One of Slack’s endearing features is the use of reactions in chats. You can choose to react to individual messages with any emoji. I make particular use of this feature as a way to acknowledge messages without writing down “acknowledged” which was necessary in the past.
Like reactions to text, you can also use reactions in calls. It works out well in group calls especially when you want positively or negatively respond to whoever’s talking at the moment without interrupting them. You can click on the reaction button, and select any single reaction. The other person will see it in on top of your photo in the call window.
So that’s it! This is how you make voice calls in Slack.
Starting with voice calls, Slack will soon include support for video calls, and screen sharing. I know this because Slack acquired Screenhero in early 2015 – a voice, video calls and screen-sharing platform which used to work with Slack.