What is a channel?

In Slack, teamwork and communication happen in channels. A channel is a single place for a team to share messages, tools, and files. Read on to learn all about how to create, join, and use channels to collaborate with your teammates.

All about channels

  • They can be organized by team, project, or whatever else is relevant to you.
  • Team members can join and leave channels as needed.
  • Threads allow for focused and organized side conversations within channels.

Tip: Watch our Getting Started With Channels webinar to learn about working in channels from members of the Slack team.


Create channels

Channels can be organized around anything, and a workspace can have as many as needed — there’s no limit! They're available for all plans: Free, Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid.

 Public channels


 Private channels

  • They're for discussions that shouldn’t be open to all members, so you must be invited to join one to view it in Slack.
  • By default, all members of a workspace (including some guests) can create private channels. Workspace Owners can change this permission and limit channel creation to certain roles.


 Shared channels

  • Shared channels let two separate organizations work together in a single channel, each from their own Slack workspace. They can be public or private, but they're only available for paid plans.
  • On the Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans, use them to collaborate with external companies and partners. Only Workspace Owners and Admins can create shared channels on these plans.


  Multi-workspace channels

  • Multi-workspace channels connect separate workspaces within an Enterprise Grid organization — they can be public or private, but they're only available for the Enterprise Grid plan.
  • Org Owners and Admins can create multi-workspace channels within their org, and allow members to do so too.


Join channels

How members join a channel depends on the type of channel it is.

 Public channels

 Private channels

 Shared channels

  • Whether the channel is public or private determines how members can join.

  Multi-workspace channels

  • Whether the channel is public or private determines how members can join.


Use channels

While a workspace can have as many channels as needed, Slack works best when channel guidelines are in place, and certain best practices are followed.

Guidelines


Best practices

  • Transparency matters, so most conversations should happen in public channels so that they’re searchable by all members. Don’t worry — members can set channel-specific notifications and choose when to get notified or mute activity altogether.
  • Maintenance is important: archive unused channels when they’re no longer needed, or delete them entirely if you don’t want to preserve channel history.
  • Take control over who can post with spaces dedicated to announcements, reviewing support tickets, or showcasing your team's work. 
  • If the nature of a channel changes, it can be converted from public to private, but not vice versa. For privacy reasons, private channels cannot be made public.