Popular messaging platform Slack today announced the beta launch of Shared Channels, "a new kind of channel that connects two separate groups, creating a common space for both sides to make use of Slack’s communication features and platform integrations when working together."
Shared Channels eliminate the need for organizations to create individual guest accounts for external agencies, clients and partners, which was previously the way organizations had to deal with the need to interact with third parties. With a few exceptions, Shared Channels function like existing Slack channels and give members the ability to post messages, share files, and make voice and video calls.
Slack apps like those offered by companies such as Dropbox and Zoom also work in Shared Channels and Slack has updated its APIs to help developers build apps that take full advantage of the new feature. Specifically, to ensure that their apps work well with Shared Channels, Slack has unveiled a new Conversations API that developers must use instead of a number of its existing APIs. In addition, Slack has updated its Node.jsTrack this Framework/Library and PythonTrack this Framework/Library SDKs to support Shared Channels and has open sourced a testing tool that allows developers to test their apps against cached versions of real API responses.
For more information about developing apps for Shared Channels, visit the Slack API documentation.