Slack just added a new feature that makes it a lot more competitive with Skype and Google Hangouts.The company is now testing a feature, currently available to all users, that allows people to make voice calls within Slack. The company is also working on video calls and screen sharing features.
Different Companies that use Slack for internal collaboration now have a Newest 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.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.Slack teased the feature yesterday at its customer conference, according to TechCrunch, during which April Underwood, the company’s vice president for product, said voice and video calling will be rolling out “very soon.”
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With one-to-one calls, you can start a voice chat with anyone in your direct messages list. This feature is available to all Slack users, including those on its free plan. Group calls, which you can start from any channel or group DM, are available only with the Slack standard plan or above.Right now, the beta calling feature is available on the Slack apps for desktop (Mac and Windows) as well as the Chrome browser. The company says iOS, Android, and Linux support is coming.
Slack users love to send emoji reactions, so of course that feature is prominently available as one of the few options in calling mode. You get just four buttons: Mute, Settings, End Call, and Emoji.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.All in all, Slack is growing rapidly as it goes up against rivals. This includes other popular Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps. As for those hoping for video calls, Slack has confirmed that is coming as well, though they haven’t said if we can expect the feature in 2016 or not. Slack acquired screen sharing firm Screen hero in 2016 for its video calling technology.