Slack Chat Integration for Internal Video Channels

Slack Chat Integration for Internal Video Channels

Looking for Slack Chat integration for your internal video channels? IBM Watson Media has added Slack integration to IBM Enterprise Video Streaming channels. This feature allows content owners to consolidate team communication, placing important information in a central, searchable location for cross functional application.

What is Slack?

Slack functions as a powerful and engaging tool to facilitate communication, largely for internal use cases. In 2014, a year after the “app” launched, engagement was tracked on an average of 10 hours per user. The service helps to keep people connected through being available on desktops and mobile devices, with apps available for Android, iOS, and even a beta version for Windows phones.

Slack chat for video assets

When enabled, this feature adds a Slack Chat module to the right of the player for internal facing video assets. Content owners select which Slack channel, after connecting with their Slack account, will appear inside the chat module. This allows viewers to participate in the chat while that same conversation will appear in a channel on that Slack account. This process enables people not actively watching to answer questions as needed. For example, if a video asset is created around training for product support then it could be linked with a Slack channel like #product-support or #product-support-training.

This module can include just the Slack chat or be combined with an info column and a Q&A module, which would be a dedicated conversation for this asset.

The benefit of Slack chat integration with video

One of the primary benefits of Slack as a service is to consolidate team communication into one place. This means avoiding trying to get the full story by checking over email threads, Skype conversations, Google Hangout chats, and other venues where discussion is occurring.

In contrast, Slack communication happens all in one place. This makes it easy to follow these conversations on your desktop or mobile device. If you are new to Slack, these conversations can occur through direct messages or over channels. Channels are typically created around a topic of interest or a department.  For example, there might be an HR channel or a channel created around a specific product. Channels allow for segmenting conversations that might be most relevant to particular groups and also can help prevent messages from being lost in the shuffle, or stuck in the inbox of someone on vacation.

Bringing this functionality to video conversations creates a more responsive experience. As a use case, let’s say an HR department runs a variety of compliance training sessions for a global organization. Rather than having to check each video asset, a single Slack channel can be used for all of them, quickly notifying the team when a new question is asked. This can not only make the team faster to respond to inquiries, but also reduce the manual labor that was previously involved in checking each of those assets for new enquiries.

Slack Chat Integration with SearchOne of the immediate values of consolidating conversations is creating a searchable database. Did someone ask a really good question for the HR team, but not sure if that was asked over email or in response to an internal video?

By bringing in conversations done over video assets that’s one less place to search for answers. The built-in search functions of Slack make it easy to locate specific excerpts and then expand to read the entire conversation if needed. Some of the advantages of the built-in search include:

  • Various filter options that include letting you search by date range and other properties
  • The option to sort results by how recent or relevancy
  • The ability to search all conversations at once
  • The way search results are in a compact list with highlighted areas with an option to expand to read the entire conversation

Accessible virtually anywhere

Today’s world is highly connected at all times. Slack taps into this by making it easy to check the chat application from a desktop and a variety of mobile devices. In fact, there are apps available for both Android and iOS that make it possible for a workforce to stay connected even when traveling or working remotely.

In this same vein, IBM’s video player and chat module are both accessible over mobile devices as well. On the video site, this is done through taking the original source, ideally a high definition feed sent over as an RTMP, and doing live transcoding on the stream to make sure it’s accessible over virtually any device. This process also includes adaptive delivery, creating additional bitrates to serve optimal video quality dependent on their connection speed.

Setting Up Slack Chat Integration

Content owners can easily integrate a Slack channel on a Ustream Align account. Align channels are internal facing assets that require authenticating through Single Sign-On (SSO) or email verification. This same principal applies to Slack channels as well, so unauthorized viewers will not see Slack conversations until they correctly authenticate.

Slack Chat Integration Channel SelectionIn order to execute:

  1. An administrator logs into their Ustream Align account.
  2. The administrator goes to the Connections tab under Account. One of the connection options on this tab will be for Slack. Clicking the connect button will redirect to an authorization page, where authorize can be clicked to redirect back to the Connections tab.
  3. After connecting the account someone would click the Ustream channel they are interested in and go to Chat. This will bring up the ability to select the Slack channel they want to associate with that asset.

Administrators can change the Slack channel associated with the Ustream channel at any time. For example, maybe a video asset that covers sales training directs to a more general “#training” Slack channel up until someone else creates a more dedicated “#sales-training” channel. However, naturally, any conversations had prior to the channel switch would still be present in that original channel. As a result, it’s best to forecast in advance so that a Slack channel doesn’t have to change, in order to keep that particular conversation occurring in the same channel.

Slack Chat Integration and Slack Live Notifications

This feature joins the earlier released Slack integration for live notifications. That feature allowed content owners to notify others on Slack when a channel went live or when a new video asset was added. Sample messages would include “Live now [channel name]” and “New video on [channel name]”.

These two features can be used in tandem, allowing for notifications to be sent when a channel goes live while also integrating chat onto the same or a different Slack channel. The best use case for this can be a centralized Slack channel, be it #general or something like #company-broadcasts, which could be used to notify a workforce when a live stream starts while other channels would contain feedback and questions.

Slack Chat with Q&ACombining Modules

Presently there are three modules available for Align content. These include:

  • Info Tap (also contains chapter navigation)
  • Q&A Tap
  • Slack Chat Tap

All three of these modules can be used together, as seen in the image to the right. Doing this creates a tab navigation to the right of the player. Viewers can shift between all three, creating an oppurtinity to see more free flowing conversation through the Slack Chat module while also checking questions that come in directly related to the content through the Q&A module.


Slack chat integration brings another method for enterprises to help foster engagement from their workforce. It also offers another way to consolidate business conversations into a single, searchable medium that can help improve efficiency.

Want to try out Slack chat integration for internal video channels?  Request a demo of IBM Enterprise Video Streaming to unlock a comprehensive enterprise video platform for engaging and collaborative streaming video to internal audiences.

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