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 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.
  • All members of a workspace (including some guests) can create private channels by default. Workspace owners can change this permission and limit channel creation to certain roles.


 Shared channels

  • Shared channels are bridges that connect separate organisations together — they can be public or private, but they're only available for paid subscriptions.
  • On the Standard, Plus and Enterprise Grid subscriptions, 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 organisation — they can be public or private, but they're only available for the Enterprise Grid subscription.
  • 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.

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