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New Audio-Only Space Lets You Gather in Slack Channels and Talk

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Starting April 30, we’ll participate in a pilot program for Huddles, a new social audio feature that lets you talk, live and ad-hoc, with your teammates in a Slack channel.

Instant messaging in Slack is a good way to get a quick answer and keep the ball moving. But for those times when talking is more efficient than typing — or you simply miss the spontaneous hallway exchanges that happen naturally in a physical office — there are Slack Huddles.

What is a Huddle?

Huddles are audio-only interactions within Slack channels. The experience is a casual, unscheduled option that’s similar to a call — except anyone in the channel or group message can drop in at any time to listen or talk.

Huddles are well-suited for situations like incidents or brainstorming. Join an active huddle to ask a question, share information, or participate in an impromptu conversation. Start a huddle to spark a discussion or get help progressing an idea.

How it works

Not to sow Discord, but Slack designed the new feature to work similarly to other popular social audio platforms. You’ll be able to start a huddle —or take part in an active huddle — in any channel, direct message, or group message you belong to. Here’s how it works:

  • Click on the headphone icon in your Channel Header to start a huddle in a channel or group message.
  • All members of the channel or group message will see an icon in their sidebar indicating a Slack Huddle is active and will be able to join.
  • Huddles are an audio-only experience; however, at any point, you can opt to share your screen or transition to a full video call within Slack.

Get started with Huddles

There’s nothing for you to do and your Slack experience won’t change a bit. Once Huddles are turned on, you’ll see a headphone icon appear in the top right of your Channel Header on your Slack screen. The Huddles feature is available for both desktop and mobile apps. We’ve created a new service information page to help you get started, and to answer questions you might have about the pilot.

Next steps and feedback

Huddles are still in the prototype phase and not yet available to everyone. As a participant in the pilot, you’ll get first access. We’re excited to work closely with Slack to bring this new feature to Stanford to test and give feedback. Please feel free to share your opinions by joining the conversation in the #slack-ama channel or completing this very brief survey. We’ll pass your input along to Slack.