Slack launches video-calling feature to take on Skype

By : |December 14, 2016 0

Just a day after Skype launched real-time translation feature to mobile phones and landlines, its arch-rival Slack has launched video-calling feature, both one-to-one and group video calling.

Slack says the video calling feature will be available first on Slack for Mac and Windows on desktop and Google Chrome in the next few days.

The seven-year-old messaging service announced the feature in a blog post. “Making calls within Slack, whether voice or video, can be helpful at times when a face-to-face conversation is needed, like when you want to give someone feedback or have a one-on-one discussion with a teammate in another office,” the company wrote.

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To access video calling, just click the phone icon to start a call — like you’ve been doing already — and then use the new camera button within your window to enable video. If you are a paid user, you can add 15 people in the latest feature. Free users will only be able to make direct calls.

Video calls will also allow viewers to respond with emoji which will temporarily float over a user’s video and play a sound. There are also “props” that you can attach to your video, such as placing a light bulb above you to signify you just had an idea, and more.

Slack is also compatible with third-party video apps, like Google Hangouts and Zoom, that means if not everyone in your video conference has Slack, you can still use the video-calling feature.

According to the company, video calling is rolling out over the next few days, but not for all platforms. If you have Slack’s Mac and Windows desktop apps, you will be able to enjoy all the feature. But if you’re on mobile, you can join video calls but can only share and receive audio. This means the video won’t display on either end.

With Slack’s latest feature, the enterprise messaging war between Skype and Slack looks set to blaze up more.

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