What Is the Slack App & How Can I Use It?

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Managers and employees often use the Slack app in the workplace as a quick communication and chatting tool. But did you know you can use it at home to stay in touch with family and friends?

Read on to learn more about the Slack app and its features, how to download it, and some ideas on how to use it in a non-work environment.

What Is the Slack App?

Slack is a messaging app which helps to connects people through a chat.

Businesses of all kinds and sizes use Slack because it can help streamline communication, keeping everyone in the loop on projects and other work-related matters. But you can also use Slack in your personal life to keep in touch with friends and family.

Features of the Slack App

The Slack app features channels, which are essentially organized spaces where users can connect and work.

There are different ways you can set up Slack channels:

  • Public channels: Open for anyone to join or find during a search on the Slack app
  • Private channels: As the name implies, they’re invite only channels safe for confidential or sensitive information
  • Slack Connect channels: Allow you to work with external contacts like clients and vendors

Slack Gives You Several Communication Options

In addition to chatting with other people through the Slack app, you can also use it to:

  • Send audio clips
  • Share video links
  • Use the “huddle” feature to chat over audio

Slack App Isn’t Just for Businesses

While the Slack app is definitely useful in business-related scenarios, you don’t have to be part of a company to use it.

For example, friends and family who want to stay in touch and are looking for options other than a group text or email, can do just that with the help of the Slack app.

Because this will be new technology for some, you may need to help friends or family members download the app, and then show them how to use it. But in general, getting Slack up and running isn’t too difficult.

How to Download the Slack App

Downloading Slack is easy:

  • Go to Slack.com
  • Click on the “Try for Free” button at the top of the home page
  • Enter your email address when prompted, and then follow the instructions to download the app

You can download Slack onto your:

  • Laptop
  • Desktop
  • Tablet
  • Android or iPhone smartphone

How Much Does Slack Cost?

As noted above, you can use the Slack app for free for as long as you like. The free option, which is generally sufficient to Slack with family and friends, allows you to:

  • Access the last 90 days of message history
  • Integrate with other apps like Google Drive and Office 365
  • Hold audio and video conversations between two people (with screen sharing)

If you’d like, you can also get the Pro version of the Slack app. This costs $7.25 a month and offers all of the features of the free version, plus:

  • Full message history
  • Audio and video conversations with screen sharing for up to 50 people
  • Integration with as many apps as you want

There are two other Slack app tiers that are geared towards business, but still may be of interest:

  • Business+ tier ($12.50 a month): Features 24-hour customer service and security features like synching with OneLogin, Okta, and Ping Identity
  • Enterprise Grid (contact Slack for pricing): Most suitable for large businesses with easy large-scale functionality and administration

Ideas for Using the Slack App

Many of the same features that make Slack ideal for communication at work also make the app fun for personal use:

  • Share photos of your latest vacation, the kids, pets, and more
  • Create chat rooms for different topics like pets, hobbies, TV shows, and more
  • Tag a specific friend or family member in a post by using the “@” symbol and their name

The Slack App Is Right at Home, at Home

As you can see, while Slack is technically meant for business use, it can be used for personal functions, too.

And while you can spend more for an upgraded plan, the free version may suit your needs quite nicely.

From sharing photos and videos with everyone in your personal circle to letting everyone know about the next family holiday gathering, Slack can help you easily stay in touch with your friends and family.