Slack is trying to defeat Google Hangout and Skype with the voice calling on the desktop. Now, it can easily turn chat into a voice or video chat. The new “calls” feature is only accessible on the Chrome browser. It enables users to start a private Slack Call or launch a conference call in the channel that anyone can connect with a click.
Once you start chatting, you can easily send visual emoji reactions, appearing overlaid on the profile picture to others on the call. The ‘voice call’ feature is rolled out to about 50% of the users. Additionally, team admins can able to check whether it is available to them or not.
Integrated with Voice call applications like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype and Bluejeans, Slack needed a separate installation and were awkward by comparison. It’s super easy to use – you just need to enable by your team’s admin to get the Slack experience.
First, you have to download the latest version of Slack for desktop and ensure your team’s admin has enabled Calls, available in the Team Settings. Now, you can able to see the phone icon on the top of one-on-one threads and channels.
You just have to tap the phone icon and a Slack Call beeps a private message. You can change your microphone settings once you are on a call. Even, you can add more people to the call.
You didn’t get all the emoji along, however, the Smiley-face button unveils some that you can tap to let Call partners know how he/she feel. The emoji pop up on the top of the profile picture in the corner – seems like a visual nod over the phone.
On channels, you have to click on the call button to wait for others to join you. Moreover, your channel partners will also see the button to connect with the text thread, so anyone can easily jump on it.
According to the Slack’s VP of Product April Underwood, the Slack Calls was that “If I’m Direct Messaging someone in Slack and we want to switch to have a quick voice conversation, it addresses that problem.”
Now, she’s issued this statement, saying “Our mission at Slack is to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive. Voice calls are a valuable form of team communication, and so a natural fit for Slack, and why we’re already seeing great usage of third-party apps that offer calling options”.
For customers who already use services like Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Bluejeans, it’s easy to initiate a variety of calling features from within Slack, but for customers who need a simple solution for voice calls with members of their Slack team, this new feature will make Slack more useful. We’re looking forward hearing feedback from customers testing the beta and are eager to get this feature in the hands of customers in our Slack mobile apps soon.
Platform thinking is in our DNA, and we’re actively exploring ways to integrate third party services, like calls, more deeply into our product.”
The startup that valued at $2.8 billion in March 2015 and has raised $340 million. And, now it is approaching investors for raising funds of more than $150 million. “Slack is doing well. There has always been a great deal of investors interest in the company, and we expect that to be continue. However, we have nothing to announce and nothing else to add at this point,” said Julia R. Blystone, the company’s spokeswoman.
Voice call of Slack was one of the requested options for 2.3 million daily active users and 570,000 paid subscribers. With this feature, it becomes one of the full-service communication suite instead of just limited to a text chat tool. Slack might able to convince more companies to pay more, as businesses already spend more money towards voice chat.
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