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What a Slack Huddle is, and how to use it
One of the more recent additions to Slack is Huddles, a feature meant to improve remote work and keep Slack competitive with other collaboration tools like Zoom. But what is a Huddle, and how do you get started with one?
A Slack Huddle is a group audio/video call with support for screen sharing and its own separate chat. You can create or join one using the headphones icon, or else tap a button or open a link if you receive an invitation. You can toggle personal video on or off, and leave at any time.
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What is a Slack Huddle?
A Huddle is a essentially a Zoom-style audio/video call meant to improve communication when text chat isn’t enough. Organizations on Slack’s free plan are limited to one-on-one Huddles, but any paid subscription expands that limit to 50. People can participate using Slack’s dedicated desktop and mobile apps, as well as Firefox and Chrome.
Like Zoom, Huddles offer screen sharing functions, and include their own dedicated chat thread. Participants can come and go at will, and if they don’t want to appear on video, they can leave their camera toggled off.
How to use a Slack Huddle
Huddles are uncomplicated by design, but there are a variety of things to know before you host one.
How to start a Slack Huddle
Huddles can be started in any channel or DM (direct message) chat. They don’t automatically rope in everyone there, however — people have to choose to join, and you can invite guests from elsewhere. Those guests won’t be able to see channel or DM content if they’re not already authorized.
To start a Huddle on desktop, click the headphones icon in the bottom-left corner of the sidebar. You can expand it to a larger size with the new window (double-square) icon. Click the camera icon to toggle your video on and off — audio will be on by default.
If you’re on Android, iPhone, or iPad, the headphones icon can be found in the top-right corner of a channel or DM. You can also toggle your camera on or off, but there’s no option to expand your view, given limited screen space.
To invite people who aren’t already in a channel or DM, you’ll have to share a link. On desktop, you can create that link by clicking on the conversation name in the bottom-left corner of your sidebar, then Copy huddle link. On mobile devices, tap the triple-dot icon in the Huddle, then Copy Huddle Link.
How to join a Slack Huddle
If you’re already in a Slack chat and you’ve been invited to a Huddle, click or tap Join when the pop-up window appears.
You can also join a Huddle you haven’t been invited to as long as you’re in the Slack channel or DM where it’s taking place. Just click or tap on the headphones icon, then use the camera icon to toggle your video on or off. On desktop, the headphones icon can be found at the bottom of your sidebar; on mobile, it’s next to a channel or DM’s name.
If you’ve received a link to a Huddle, whether through Slack, email, or a calendar invite, just click or tap on it. Doublecheck the authenticity of emails — there’s the possibility of a phishing scam.
How to leave a Slack Huddle
Whenever you want to leave a Huddle, click or tap on Leave or the headphones icon. A Huddle will continue as long as there’s at least one person active in it, so it can change hosts, or even be left running permanently for quick drop-in calls.
Not directly via Slack, which is one of the key things differentiating Huddles from Zoom. Someone can of course use a separate recording tool, but that’s true of any calling service.
Slack the company saves metadata, but not any actual content, which is fully encrypted.
Yes, using calendar apps, whether or not they’re hooked into Slack. The key is creating a sharing link and adding it to an event’s description. The host may need to keep the associated Huddle going until the meeting takes place, however.
There’s no extra cost for Huddles, but you’re limited to one-on-one calls unless your organization has a paid Slack plan.