Slack Messenger: what it is and how to work with it

Relatively recently, among the numerous messengers, another one appeared - Slack for corporate communication. It is positioned by developers as "Skype killer", because it took over several popular features of this program. Now the messenger is causing more and more interest in its segment, but potential users would like to know more about its capabilities, so we will tell you more about them later.

Features Slack Messenger.

Why do you need Slack

Slack allows you to communicate to employees of one enterprise, taking into account all the main features of such communication - this is what this program is, if we formulate briefly. To discuss some common topics for all, there are public channels, as well as local groups and the ability to send private messages are provided. In the messenger you can share different files, it is equipped with a convenient search so that you can quickly find the necessary materials. It supports popular cloud storage Dropbox, "Google Drive", the service "Google Docs", "Twitter" and many other applications. Slack has two versions: free and paid. In the first case, some functions are not available, but they can be removed for 400-760 rubles per month. To make it clearer why it is needed, consider the advantages of the Slack messenger:

  1. Relationship with other platforms: for creating projects, storing information, editing documents, sending letters, etc. A file containing information about a product or service is in close proximity to the chat, which is very useful when it is being discussed.
  2. You can mention users, commenting on the content - they will receive a notification and will be able to view what seemed to you worthy of attention.
  3. You can download various materials: photos, videos, audio, projects in specific formats.
  4. The messenger takes into account all the features of group chat: here it is easier to understand what question is answered, who is writing to whom and what is the subject of discussion.
  5. The Slack developers did a good job on the search function: no matter how extensive the discussion thread is, nothing is lost in it. You can search by different words, date, categories, hashtags, files, etc.
  6. The application can be downloaded to different devices: iPhone, Android and Windows Phone smartphones, computers and laptops on Mac OS, Linux and Windows.
  7. Notifications can be configured as comfortable as possible for yourself: select specific dialogues and chats from where it is important to receive them. Thus, in case of intensive communication, you will avoid constant, persistent notifications about insubstantial posts in chat rooms.
  8. Between multiple chat rooms you can easily switch.
  9. Already sent messages are edited, there are settings for the system of template and automatic responses to common phrases of the same type.
  10. When you add a link, a preview is installed on it in the form of a small picture for clarity, so that the interlocutors know in advance what you have shared and not get confused in different links.
  11. For each participant in the dialogue, the time is set according to his time zone, which is very important when the team is large and the employees are in different cities.

Of course, there are disadvantages:

  1. Slack in the free version limits the ability to search messages by 10 thousand. Earlier it is already impossible to find.
  2. The paid version is quite expensive: from 400 to 760 rubles per month.
  3. Despite the fact that you can write posts in Russian, the interface is English.
  4. On Linux, the application absorbs a significant amount of RAM resources.
  5. Video chat is very slow, as there is no private one, and the integration with Hangouts is not well thought out.
  6. In the free version can not make group calls.

Installing Slack on various devices

For Windows, the messenger can be downloaded from the official website: the service will determine the appropriate distribution package for your system. Download it and run the installation by double-clicking. On Linux, you can install Slack in several ways:

  • just like on Windows - just double click;
  • via the terminal with the command: $ sudo dpkg-i / file path.

Mobile application for Android is in Google Play, for iOS - in the AppStore.

How to use Slack

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of Slack, it's time to discuss how to use it. You remember that the application interface is English-speaking, but nevertheless it is easy to understand it.

Account creation

  1. To create an account in Slack, open the application and click the button below with the words “Create a new workspace” - if you are responsible for organizing the working chat and you need to create it, or the blue link “Find your Slack workspace” if you want to join already existing community.
  2. Enter the e-mail in the required field.
  3. Check the mail and copy the code from the letter.
  4. Return to the Slack window and press Ctrl + V.
  5. Enter your name and nickname.
  6. Choose security password.
  7. If you are an administrator, also fill in the information about your company, specify the number of people you add, your position and role in the chat.
  8. Send a link to invite your colleagues.

Appearance of the messenger

After logging in to your account, on the color plate on the left you will see a rubricator of groups and chats, notifications, and on the right a window with a ribbon, a search string, a tool for marking important messages and settings. If you are working with Linux, it is better to turn off hardware acceleration immediately, so as not to have problems with the display of emoji and animated content. To do this, click the arrow next to the community name, select Prefertences - Linux App - Disable hardware acceleration and tick the last one.

Customize your profile

Go to setting up your account:

  1. Again click on the username, select the section called "Profile & account" - "Edit profile".
  2. Add your photo, some information about yourself.
  3. On the right there is also a cog wheel icon, by clicking on which, you can choose a way to log in to your account, change your password, set a plate with your time zone, adjust the relationship with other messengers, if you prefer to write to Slack through them, etc.

Channel Setup

The structure of the messenger is made up of extensive communication branches - channels and small local groups within them. If you register at “Slack” by invitation, then you do not need to customize anything - you are in the ready-made environment. And if you organize communication with colleagues, then you have to do something:

  1. A new channel is created by clicking on the “+” symbol next to the word “Channels” in the rubricator on the left.
  2. Name the channel, write an annotation, what is its subject matter, invite colleagues.
  3. To allow information to only certain individuals, you can specify them in the privacy settings.

The finished channel can be changed by opening it and clicking on the icon in the form of a cog wheel in the upper right.

Slack message sending

To send a message, in the rubricator on the left select a participant in the conversation (their list is located under the heading Direct Messages) or channel (Channels) - a form for typing will appear on the right. In the first case, the message can be read by all users of the specified channel, and in the second - only one person. In public channels it is technically possible to delete already sent messages (via the corresponding button), but some communities prohibit this, because the meaning of the discussion is lost. To mention a user in a general conversation, it is enough to put the “@” symbol in front of the nickname - he will receive a notification.

Inviting friends

To invite to your channel, you can use the link that you received when registering your profile, or find the section Invite People on the left. A person will also have to create an account on this network in order to have access to publications.

Embedded Applications

As already mentioned, Slack integrates with other resources: e-mail, document editors, messengers, storages, etc. If you need this function, open the Apps section and select the required extension - under each of them there is a button for installation.