Slack Connect guide: work with external organizations

Rather than using email to communicate, you can use Slack Connect to work alongside people from external organizations in a Slack channel or direct message (DM). Read on for an overview of Slack Connect.

Slack Connect for channels

When you need to work as a group, you can use a Slack channel to host up to 250 organizations. Here's what to keep in mind:

  • To work in channels together, each organization must be using a paid Slack plan.
  • Like other channels in Slack, people can join the channel or be added to it by someone else from their organization.
  • People from different organizations working together in channels can send each other DMs. To work in a group DM, everyone in the conversation must be in at least one channel together.

Tip: If you’d like to work with an organization that’s either not using Slack nor on a paid Slack plan, you can invite them to try Slack Connect for free

Channel ownership

Your organization owns any channels created in your workspace or Enterprise Grid org. When using Slack Connect, only the organization that owns a channel can do the following:

Using apps and workflows

When using apps and workflows in a channel with people outside your company, here’s what to expect:

  • Workflows can be used by anyone in the channel.
  • Shortcuts associated with apps are available to people from other organizations if an app is installed to their workspace. When people take an action from an app shortcut, it will only apply to the account they've connected to the app. 
  • Apps added by another organization will include that organization's Slack icon next to the app name. Only people from the organization that added an app can remove it from a channel.
  • People in the channel can see messages from bots and apps. They can also exchange messages with an app’s bot user if it’s been added to the channel.
  • Your organization’s custom apps and shortcuts can only be used by your organization, but messages posted by the app or shortcut can be seen by everyone in the channel.

Slack Connect for DMs

If you’d like to communicate one-on-one with someone from an external organization, you can use a DM. On any Slack plan, you can start a DM by sending someone an invitation, or accepting an invitation you've received.

Using Slack Connect

Here's what to expect when working with external people in Slack channels and DMs.


Slack Connect provides a secure way for organizations to communicate and collaborate together. Read more about how data management features apply to Slack Connect and Slack's enterprise-grade security.

Identify Slack Connect conversations

When you hover over a channel name or DM, you'll see if any external organizations are in the conversation. You'll also see a banner with the same information when you view the conversation. By default, all your Slack Connect channels and DMs will be organized into the Connections section in your sidebar.

Manage Slack Connect

To manage Slack Connect all in once place, hover over   More, then click  External connections. You'll find the option to send and accept invitations, manage your invitations, and more.

View member profiles

Organizations can choose what profile information other organizations can see: either just basic details, like names and profile photos, or additional details like statuses and timezones. Profile photos for external people will be marked with their organization’s Slack icon in the bottom-right corner.

Using custom emoji

You can use your organization's custom emoji like you would in any other channel or DM. External people can see your organization's custom emoji and add them to their organization so that they can use the same emoji too. 

Learn more: For an in-depth look at Slack Connect, take our course and test your knowledge to earn a Slack Skills badge.