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Guide to shared channels

Sharing a channel is a secure and productive way to work with external organisations without leaving your own workspace. When you share a channel, you can communicate with members across different organisations in one centralised place. 

Note: To share a channel, every participating organisation must be using one of Slack’s paid subscriptions. If you're using the free version of Slack, learn how to upgrade your workspace.

What to expect

  • Sharing a channel allows external organisations access to only that channel in your workspace.
  • You and members from external organisations can send and read each other's messages in the channels that you're sharing.
  • You can send direct messages to members from external organisations, as long as you’re sharing at least one channel together.
  • Members from external organisations can join a shared channel from their workspace, or be added by another member of their workspace who's already in the channel.
  • You can’t share the #general channel, multi-workspace channels or org-wide channels.


How to share a channel

There are three steps to sharing a channel:


Working in shared channels

Working in a channel shared with external organisations is similar to using other channels in Slack. You can identify a shared channel by the   diamond icon next to the name in your channel list. Here are some other things to expect when working in channels that you’re sharing.


View a member's profile 

When a member from an external organisation sends a message in a shared channel, you'll see their profile photo and certain fields in their profile with their organisation's Slack icon in the bottom right corner. You can view their profile, but you won't be able to see any status that they've set in their workspace.Discussions_in_shared_channel.png


Use custom emoji

Members from external organisations can only see your workspace’s custom emoji when they’re added as emoji reactions. External organisations won’t be able to see your workspace’s custom emoji when they’re included in messages, or from their emoji menu.


Use apps and workflows

You can use apps and integrations in channels that you’re sharing with external organisations. All members can see messages from bots and apps, and even message another workspace’s bot user if it’s been added to the channel. Keep in mind that your workspace’s custom slash commands and shortcuts for third-party apps won’t work for members from external organisations.

By default, a member from any organisation can create workflows for anyone in the channel to use.


Send direct messages

You can send direct messages to members from an external organisation if you’re in the same shared channel. To create a group direct message with members from multiple external organisations, you must share at least one channel with every member you’re adding to the conversation.


Shared channels and Enterprise Key Management

If you're an Enterprise Key Management customer, you can share channels with external organisations, but messages and files sent in those channels are not currently encryptable using your own keys.

Messages and files in all other channels in Slack will still be encrypted using your keys. Once EKM is available for channels shared with external organisations, it will retroactively apply to all your messages and files in those channels.

Tip: We've taken added precautions to keep your workspace secure when sharing channels with external organisations. Visit Shared channels security and policies to learn more.

Who can use this feature?
  • All members (by default)
  • Standard, Plus and Enterprise Grid subscriptions

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