Slack Challenges Skype With Built-in Video Calling For macOS, Windows and Google Chrome

Have you been slacking on throwing together a company meeting because your co-workers or employees are spread to the four winds? If you are a Slack fan, you no longer have an excuse -- the cloud-based team collaboration tool now includes group video calling.

Users can directly call anyone on their Slack team by simply pushing the call button. There are no invite links, separate apps, or even separate buttons. If users have a prepaid plan, they can include up to fifteen people in a group video call.
slack video chat

Video calls also include emojis so that users can respond to meetings without having to un-mute their microphone. The emojis will be displayed over the video feed and include a small sound. Some included emojis are a raised hand if someone wants to ask a question, and a thumbs-up if they want to indicate approval.

Slack video calling also plays nicely with third-party services such as Google Hangouts and Zoom. Users can even customize their Slack call settings to default to their favorite call service. Group video calls will be available over the next few days for Mac and Windows Slack desktop apps, as well as Google Chrome. Mobile app users can join ongoing video calls, but will be limited to sharing and receiving audio. Slack for Apple Watch and Linux (beta) will not include group video calling.

slack interface

Slack began as an internal tool used by the developers of the now defunct game Glitch. It was the first business technology to have crossed from business into personal use since Microsoft Office and the BlackBerry. Slack has since slowly but surely been working to take on the biggies such as Skype and Facebook Messenger. The company boasts a million daily users, despite being dumped by Microsoft earlier this year. Slack even includes two-step verification, something Skype lacks. Hopefully, the added group calling will help to push it further into the mainstream.