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.

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

  • Channels 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.


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 their history.
  • Manage 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.