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Shared channels in Slack

Collaborating with outside teams is now as simple as it is to work with in-house teams. Here’s an overview to help intro your team to shared channels.

How it works

Shared channels let two separate organizations work together in a Slack channel, each from within their own Slack workspace. Members of a shared channel can send direct messages, upload files, use apps and integrations, and start calls—all in a common space.

For the most part, shared channels look and feel like regular channels in Slack, with a few key visuals that indicate the presence of an outside organization.

 

Benefits

Reach the right people

With shared channels, it’s easy to loop in the right people—both internal and external—and keep everyone on the same page.

Streamline communication

No need to manage and reconcile disparate conversations happening across email, phone calls and meetings. With everything in one place, there’s less context switching. Your team (and theirs) save time.

Share information and context faster

Real-time collaboration means information flows freely between teams, moving work forward. And when new members join a shared channel, they can access and search the channel’s entire history, getting them up to speed quickly.

Build trust

Develop deeper partnerships with external partners by making communication easier, more direct and more casual. Both sides can easily see what’s happening and who’s responsible for what.

 

Shared channels has increased our ability to collaborate and the level of transparency. We’re able to solve customer issues a lot faster.

Andre JulienSenior Manager of Operations, Happy Returns

Security

Shared channels keep your company’s data and information secure while allowing your team to do their best work. Users can initiate a shared channel by sharing an invitation link with their external partner. Depending on your settings, admins on both sides must approve the shared channel and can disconnect the shared channel at any time.

Each side can decide if the shared channel is public or private in their own workspace. Once the shared channel is created, members can invite colleagues from their respective teams without admin involvement.

Setting up a shared channel

To create a shared channel, follow the simple steps below. 

  1. To share an existing channel, click on the gear icon located at the top of the channel and to the right of the search bar. Then, select “Add people to the channel”. Follow the prompts to share the channel with external partners or companies.
  2. To create and share a brand new channel, click the + button next to Channels in your sidebar. Name the channel, click Create, and follow the prompt to share the channel outside of your workspace.
  3. From there, simply copy the link provided and send that link to your external partner.
  4. Once your partner clicks the link, they’ll be taken back to Slack where they can accept the invite and set up the shared channel.
  5. Depending on your settings, the invitation is sent to an admin on both teams for their approval. Admins can manage shared channels invitations by clicking on their workspace name > Administration > Manage shared channels.

Ready to get started?

These tips will help you get your shared channels up and running:
  • Review external business partners and ongoing initiatives to identify 3–5 initial use cases for shared channels.
  • Check the Slack guest account usage in your workspace directory. It might make sense to convert some of your guest accounts to shared channels.
  • With your Slack admins, align on shared channel guidelines for how users can request to set up a shared channel.
  • Reach out to our customer experience team with any questions by typing /feedback in Slack or sending an email to feedback@slack.com.

You’re in good company

Teams of every size, shape and kind are collaborating in shared channels.

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