Microsoft revealed on Thursday that it is introducing a new integration between the popular video chat and voice call app and its fellow messaging service Slack. This will allow Slack teams to make use of Skype's voice and video call services from within Slack threads.
While the integration is currently available only in preview mode, Slack users can activate the service by clicking on the "Add to Slack" button found on Skype's official website. They will then have to confirm which specific team they wish to integrate with by selecting the correct team and clicking on "Authorize".
If users need to switch from one team to another, they simply have to click on the "Change teams" button then choose another team.
Slack has made an effort to simplify the integration's setup process, which allows the service to easily add third-party apps. Users can expand their Slack versions with additional functionality including automated bots and integrations with office systems such as those found in Accounting, HR, Customer Support, Compliance and Security departments.
Last month, Slack has introduced a new App Directory designed to organize and highlight the service's increasing number of applications, which are currently about 150 different functions.
After installing the Skype and Slack integration, all a user has to do is to type in "/skype" into Slack's chat interface and it will pull up the display link to join.
According to Microsoft, the new functionality is applicable to various platforms, pointing to the ability of Slack members using Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS to easily set up or join calls through the service.
People who want to use the service using their PCs would need to access it through a web browser, while those on mobile would have to download Skype's mobile app and install it onto their smartphones.
Team members on Slack can sign in suing their Skype name or their account information with Microsoft. They can also choose to join conversations on the service as guests using a computer.
So far, there is no word yet from Microsoft as to when the Skype-Slack integration will exit its current Preview mode, as well as possible bugs or limitations users may come across with while using the service.
Aside from the Skype website, the software can also be activated through Slack's directory. Slack clarifies on its app pages that it only carries out brief reviews of third-party add-ons to its service, and that it does not certify nor endorse any of these add-ons.
This can be taken as Slack's way of informing users that until the integration is taken off of its current preview mode, they may experience some technical issues with the new service.
Observers view Microsoft's move to integrate the two services as a way to keep Skype as a viable medium for team collaboration in offices. The company looks to tap into Slack's rapidly growing membership, which now has 2 million active daily users and about 570,000 paid seats.
Slack is currently valued at $2.8 billion.