Companies and individuals who are using Slack for all their communication needs will now be using the app more as it adds video calling to its slew of features. The popular workplace chat app has gotten this new functionality through its latest desktop version update.
The team behind the popular app announced on Slack’s official blog this Tuesday that face-to-face calls are now supported through the desktop apps for Mac, Windows and Chrome. This means, users can now make video calls either across the office or from wherever they are around the world.
The desktop update for Slack brings a new camera button that users should click to start a video call provided they have already launched the voice calling feature through the phone icon. Users do not need to open a separate app to engage in a video conference; they can simply dial in to a one-on-one or a group meeting. The feature also works through shared links.
It is important to take note, however, that group video calls are limited to 15 participants only per session. Also, this feature is strictly for users who are subscribed to any of the company’s paid plans, as per CNET. The upside here is the fact that Slack users can also use Google Hangouts or Zoom to launch video calls from the updated chat app.
Making the update even more interesting is the ability to use emojis while having a video conference. According to AppleInsider, there is a set of emojis users can utilize to grab the attention of other people in the session. For example, a hand symbol can be used to notify the rest that one has a question. Emojis are flashed briefly in the video feed along with a sound cue, so it’s easy to know who has a response he or she wants to share with the team.
On the other hand, Slack mobile apps do not have full support for the video calling feature yet. Users of this version can join video conferences, but they are only limited to hearing the audio of the session. The Slack team has yet to announce when the mobile apps would get video calling functionality.