Slack Connect guide: work with external partners

Slack Connect allows you to work with people outside your company in channels and direct messages (DMs). By moving conversations out of emails, you can work securely and collaboratively with partners, vendors, or customers. Read on for an overview of Slack Connect.

Slack Connect for channels

When you need to work as a group, you can create a channel where teams from up to 250 companies can communicate. Here's what to keep in mind when using channels with Slack Connect:

Tip: If you have partners not yet using Slack or using the free version, you can invite them to try Slack Connect for free.

Channel ownership

An organization either owns a channel or is invited to one. Channels that were created in your workspace or Enterprise Grid org are owned by your organization. Only the channel owner has permission to do the following in a Slack Connect channel:

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.
  • App shortcuts 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.
  • Custom apps and slash commands created for your workspace can only be used by members of your organization.

Slack Connect for DMs

When you don't need to work in a channel with someone outside your company, you can talk one-on-one in a DM instead. On any Slack plan, you can start a DM by sending someone an invitation, or accept an invitation you've received.

Using Slack Connect

Whether you're using channels or DMs, here's what to expect when working with people from other organizations in Slack.


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.

Identifying 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 in a dedicated Slack Connect sidebar section.

Managing Slack Connect from your sidebar

Click  Slack Connect at the top of your left sidebar to send and accept invitations, manage your invitations, and more. Depending on your role and permissions in Slack, you may find key actions to manage Slack Connect for your workspace or Enterprise Grid organization. 

Viewing member profiles

Companies using a paid Slack plan can choose what profile information outside 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 workspace’s custom emoji like you would in any other channel or DM. People from other companies can see your workspace’s custom emoji, but can’t use them in their messages or as emoji reactions.

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