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Slack Introduces Audio Call Feature

Slack is launching its new Huddles feature today, lightweight audio calls. The features are designed to replace those informal conversations that users used to have with their colleagues across desks. This feature is similar to Discord, offering the ability to join or leave a persistent call freely at all hours.

Slack is focusing on audio with Huddles rather than video, but there will be a screen-sharing feature to make it easy for teams of people to hold spontaneous meetings that may have happened huddled around a monitor in the pre-pandemic days. That time-saving and spontaneity is a key part of Slack Huddles.

These audio calls can be created in any channel or DM, including shared communications across companies. The audio experience is designed to mimic people walking by your desk, so there’s no need to send people invites, links, or dial-in numbers anyone in a channel or a Direct Message group can join freely.

This is powered by Slack partnership with Amazon, Huddles also includes impressively fast and accurate live captioning through AWS. Slack Huddles is a response to the growing number of video calls that workers are participating in. While Butterfield concedes they will allow video sharing at some point, the focus of Huddles is to allow people to not have to worry about how they look on a video call, where they’re located, or even what they’re doing during a call. On an audio call, you can be doing many other things and maintain the illusion that your counterpart is paying complete attention to everything you’re saying.

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