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

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


Create channels

Channels can be organised around anything, and a workspace can have as many as needed – there’s no limit! They're available for all subscriptions: 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 separate organisations work together in a single channel, each from their own Slack workspace. This feature is available on the Standard, Plus and Enterprise Grid subscriptions.
  • Organisations can choose if they’d like a shared channel to be public or private for their workspace.
  • All members (except guests) can send and accept invitations to share a channel. Depending on your workspace settings, the accepted invitation may need approval from an owner or admin before a channel is shared.


  Multi-workspace channels

  • Multi-workspace channels connect separate workspaces within an Enterprise Grid organisation. This feature is only available for the Enterprise Grid subscription.
  • Multi-workspace channels can be public or private.
  • Org owners and admins can create multi-workspace channels within their organisation, and give members permission to do this.


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.