Slack is a powerful business communication platform but it can quickly become a distraction if your conversations are all over the place — especially if you’re working remotely. That’s where threaded messages in Slack can come to your rescue.

What are threaded messages in Slack?

Threaded messages in Slack are similar to your email threads- wherein, your initial message acts as the anchor point, and all the subsequent replies are attached to it. This entire collection of messages rolled into the parent message is called a thread in Slack.

Slack threads make it easier to track all your important discussions in a single place. All you have to do is head over to the ‘Threads’ tab on Slack.

slack threads
Slack Threads

Threaded messages vs. Direct messages

We use Slack extensively at Automate.io, and following these etiquettes has helped us in communicating better when the entire team has been working remotely.

slack channel view vs thread view
Channel view vs. Thread view in Slack messages

Create a message thread in the channel when:

  1. The channel is busy.
  2. The topic of discussion only involves certain people.
  3. You want to follow-up on a message.
  4. You want to start conversations from automated messages.

Post directly in the channel or direct messages when:

  1. The channel isn’t too busy.
  2. Your response applies to everyone.
  3. Starting a new conversation.
  4. Making a company-wide announcement.

Now that you’re clear on when it’s best to use Slack threads in comparison to posting directly in the channel, let’s have a look at how you can create, reply to, follow, and unfollow a thread in Slack.

How to create a thread in Slack?

Create Slack thread messages
Create Slack threaded messages
  1. Hover your mouse on the message you’d like to convert in a thread.
  2. Click on ‘Reply in thread’.
  3. Compose your message, and click on ‘Send message’ to create a Slack thread.

Note: You can create a Slack thread in direct messages, channels, and applications.

How to reply to a thread in Slack

slack thread reply
Adding reply to a Slack thread
  1. Go to the Slack thread you’d like to reply to.
  2. Click on ‘View thread’.
  3. Type in your reply, and click on ‘Send message’.

How to follow a thread in Slack?

follow slack threads
Follow Slack threads

Slack automatically turns on thread notifications if you’re a part of it. Although, there are cases when you would like to be notified of an on-going discussion in a thread. Here’s how you can follow a discussion thread when you’re not a part of it:

  1. Go to the Slack thread you’d like to follow.
  2. Click on the More actions (three dots) button.
  3. Select the Follow thread option you see at the top.

How to unfollow a thread in Slack?

unfollow slack threads
Unfollow Slack threads

Being a part of too many threads on Slack can get overwhelming due to the volume of notifications — it can hamper your work productivity. If you see that happening it’s best to loop yourself out from conversations that don’t need your attention. Here’s how you can unfollow a Slack thread:

  1. Go to the Slack thread you’d like to unfollow.
  2. Click on the More actions (three dots) button.
  3. Select the Unfollow thread option you see at the top.

A popular question that we hear from Slack customers is  — how can we reply to a message in Slack without creating a thread? To answer this, it isn’t currently possible, as replying to a specific message in Slack automatically creates a thread. The only way you can reply without creating a Slack thread is by responding directly in the channel or DMs.

That’s all you need to know when it comes to organizing your discussions in Slack with threaded messages. We hope this helps you in keeping your Slack workspace clutter-free and improves team communication.

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