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.

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

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.

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.


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.
  • Use announcement-only channels to broadcast important information to every member of a workspace.
  • 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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