Slack starts testing voice call support, with mobile coming soon

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How does your workplace coordinate communication among its employees? For a large (and growing) number of organizations, Slack has become the collaborative tool of choice. And while its text-based chat tools left plenty of users satisfied, there was still ample room to grow. Yesterday the company revealed plans to bring voice (and eventually video) support to its service – with testing starting “very soon.” Apparently Slack wasn’t kidding about its use of that adjective, and today a new “Calls” feature has already popped up.

For the moment, Calls are constrained to Slack on the desktop, but yesterday the company made it clear that mobile app support will ultimately follow.

You’ll only start seeing Calls in Slack if your team leader has enabled their support (and right now, that option’s only available for maybe half of active users), and even though the feature’s only in early testing at the moment, it already supports multi-person calls, invitations, and emoji-based reactions.

The timetable right now should see voice-based Calls come to Slack across form factors – including mobile apps – before we see the arrival of video support. Admittedly, Slack already let users conduct voice calls with their choice of third-party services, but what’s the point of a one-stop team-communication service if it’s outsourcing some key functionality to competitors? With these new features landing, Slack hopes to shore up its position in the collaboration market.

Source: Tech Crunch

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!