Clubhouse splashed onto the scene with “drop-in” voice-only group chats. Several services have introduced their own versions of this, including Slack. Here’s how you can use Slack for quick “huddles” with your team when you need more than text.
What Is a Huddle in Slack?
A Slack Huddle is a similar concept to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces in that there’s really not a formal meeting time or invitation. The whole idea is that people can simply “drop-in” to a Huddle whenever.
And what actually is a Huddle when you join one? It’s pretty much just an audio-only chat room. There is no option to show yourself with a webcam, but on the desktop, you can share your screen. Huddles are meant for quick, casual discussions.
A Huddle can be started in any Slack channel, including direct messaging if you want to Huddle with one other person. Huddles can have up to 50 participants. You can use Huddles on Slack for desktop, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
How to Use Slack Huddles
You can use Huddles either in Slack on the desktop or in the mobile version of Slack. On the desktop, you can also share your screen.
Slack Huddles on Desktop
First, open Slack on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. Navigate to the channel or person with who you want to Huddle with.
If you can Huddle in the channel, you’ll see an icon at the bottom of the sidebar. Click the headphone icon to start the Huddle. This is also how you can join a Huddle in progress.
You are now in a Huddle. When other people join, you’ll see how many people are in the Huddle and who is talking. You are automatically muted when no one else is in the Huddle.
There are a couple of things you can do with the desktop Huddle experience. First, live captions show what people are saying in text. Click the Huddle area and then the three-dot menu icon.
Then click “Turn On Captions.”
A little window will pop up and show the conversation in text. The voice-to-text isn’t super accurate, but it’s neat nonetheless.
The other thing you can do with Huddles on the desktop is share your screen. Click the three-dot menu icon below the Huddle area and select “Share Screen.” You’ll be able to choose your whole screen or specific windows.
To leave the Huddle, simply click the headphone icon again.
Slack Huddles on Mobile
To use Huddles on mobile, first open Slack on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Navigate to the channel or person with who you want to Huddle and tap the antenna icon in the top right. If a Huddle is currently happening, the icon will be highlighted in blue.
The Huddle window will open and you’ll be muted by default when no one else has joined. You’ll see a button to “Mute/Unmute” your mic and to “Invite” people.
There’s not much else you can do with mobile Huddles. There are no live captions or screen-sharing features. To leave the Huddle, simply tap the “Leave” button.
Switch Between Computer and Phone
What if you’re in a Huddle on your computer and you want to switch over to your phone? Tap the antenna icon—which will be blue to signify a Huddle is happening—in the mobile app.
You’ll see a little computer icon on your profile photo that shows you’re in the Huddle on your computer. Tap “Join Here” to switch to your phone.
Slack will handle everything and switch you over to the Huddle on your phone. The same thing works in reverse, simply join the Huddle like your normally would from your computer and your phone will be removed.
Huddles are a nifty feature for impromptu meetings that don’t need formal scheduling and invitations. Think of it like opening the door to your office for anyone to come in and say “hi.”