Skype today launched a preview version of Skype integration for Slack. The new plugin essentially lets you easily make Skype voice or video calls directly from within Slack.
To set up the integration, visit skype.com/slack and click the “Add to Slack” button. You’ll be asked to confirm the team you want to integrate with: Select “Authorize” if the correct team has been picked or “Change teams” to switch. Once you’ve set it up, anyone on the Slack team can type /skype in any channel to start a free group call from a computer. The Skype call will be set up in the background for you, and a join link will appear.
While the person starting the call needs to be on a computer, whoever will be joining (one or more people) can use Slack on the Web, Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS. They will receive a Slack notification that a Skype call has started and can join right away. Typing “/skype” into the chat again will set up a new call.
This preview is in line with Skype’s recent moves to make starting calls even easier. In June 2015, Skype rolled out its web version worldwide, and in October, the Microsoft-owned company finally launched shareable chat links.
As a result, Slack users can join a Skype call not just with the desktop or mobile apps, but also just using a desktop browser. In fact, signing in with a Microsoft account or Skype name is not required: Anyone can join a call as a guest from a computer. It’s really just the person starting the call who is limited to PCs and Macs — everyone else can be on whatever platform has Slack and Skype.
Skype today didn’t share when it expects the Slack integration would launch out of preview. If stability is what’s stopping you from giving it a try, though, there are plenty of alternatives in Slack’s App Directory.