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channels.history

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Supported token types:
Expected scopes:

This method returns a portion of message events from the specified public channel.

To read the entire history for a channel, call the method with no latest or oldest arguments, and then continue paging using the instructions below.

To retrieve a single message, specify its ts value as latest, set inclusive to true, and dial your count down to 1.

Arguments

This method has the URL https://slack.com/api/channels.history and follows the Slack Web API calling conventions.

Argument Example Required Description
token xxxx-xxxxxxxxx-xxxx Required

Authentication token bearing required scopes.

channel C1234567890 Required

Channel to fetch history for.

count 100 Optional, default=100

Number of messages to return, between 1 and 1000.

inclusive true Optional, default=0

Include messages with latest or oldest timestamp in results.

latest 1234567890.123456 Optional, default=now

End of time range of messages to include in results.

oldest 1234567890.123456 Optional, default=0

Start of time range of messages to include in results.

unreads true Optional, default=0

Include unread_count_display in the output?

Present arguments as parameters in application/x-www-form-urlencoded querystring or POST body. This method does not currently accept application/json.

Response

Typical success response containing the channel's history

{
    "ok": true,
    "latest": "1358547726.000003",
    "messages": [
        {
            "type": "message",
            "ts": "1358546515.000008",
            "user": "U2147483896",
            "text": "Hello"
        },
        {
            "type": "message",
            "ts": "1358546515.000007",
            "user": "U2147483896",
            "text": "World",
            "is_starred": true,
            "reactions": [
                {
                    "name": "space_invader",
                    "count": 3,
                    "users": [
                        "U1",
                        "U2",
                        "U3"
                    ]
                },
                {
                    "name": "sweet_potato",
                    "count": 5,
                    "users": [
                        "U1",
                        "U2",
                        "U3",
                        "U4",
                        "U5"
                    ]
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "type": "something_else",
            "ts": "1358546515.000007"
        },
        {
            "text": "Containment unit is 98% full",
            "username": "ecto1138",
            "bot_id": "B19LU7CSY",
            "attachments": [
                {
                    "text": "Don't get too attached",
                    "id": 1,
                    "fallback": "This is an attachment fallback"
                }
            ],
            "type": "message",
            "subtype": "bot_message",
            "ts": "1503435956.000247"
        }
    ],
    "has_more": false
}

Error response when the specified channel cannot be found

{
    "ok": false,
    "error": "channel_not_found"
}

Navigating through collections of messages

The messages array contains up to 100 messages between latest and oldest. If there were more than 100 messages between those two points, then has_more will be true.

If a message has the same timestamp as latest or oldest it will not be included in the list, unless inclusive is true. This allows a client to fetch all messages in a hole in channel history, by calling channels.history with latest set to the oldest message they have after the hole, and oldest to the latest message they have before the hole. If the response includes has_more then the client can make another call, using the ts value of the final messages as the latest param to get the next page of messages.

If there are more than 100 messages between the two timestamps then the messages returned are the ones closest to latest. In most cases an application will want the most recent messages and will page backward from there. If oldest is provided but not latest then the messages returned are those closest to oldest, allowing you to page forward through history if desired.

Retrieving a single message

channels.history can also be used to pluck a single message from the archive.

You'll need a message's ts value, uniquely identifying it within a channel. You'll also need that channel's ID.

Provide another message's ts value as the latest parameter. Specify true for the inclusive parameter and set the count to 1. If it exists, you'll receive the queried message in return.

GET /api/channels.history?token=TOKEN_WITH_CHANNELS_HISTORY_SCOPE&channel=C2EB2QT8A&latest=1476909142.000007&inclusive=true&count=1

Easily generate a permalink URL for any specific message using chat.getPermalink.

Message types

Messages of type "message" are user-entered text messages sent to the channel, while other types are events that happened within the channel. All messages have both a type and a sortable ts, but the other fields depend on the type. For a list of all possible events, see the channel messages documentation.

Messages that have been reacted to by team members will have a reactions array delightfully included.

If a message has been starred by the calling user, the is_starred property will be present and true. This property is only added for starred items, so is not present in the majority of messages.

The is_limited boolean property is only included for free teams that have reached the free message limit. If true, there are messages before the current result set, but they are beyond the message limit.

Errors

This table lists the expected errors that this method could return. However, other errors can be returned in the case where the service is down or other unexpected factors affect processing. Callers should always check the value of the ok params in the response.

Error Description
channel_not_found

Value passed for channel was invalid.

invalid_ts_latest

Value passed for latest was invalid

invalid_ts_oldest

Value passed for oldest was invalid

not_authed

No authentication token provided.

invalid_auth

Invalid authentication token.

account_inactive

Authentication token is for a deleted user or workspace.

no_permission

The workspace token used in this request does not have the permissions necessary to complete the request.

invalid_arg_name

The method was passed an argument whose name falls outside the bounds of accepted or expected values. This includes very long names and names with non-alphanumeric characters other than _. If you get this error, it is typically an indication that you have made a very malformed API call.

invalid_array_arg

The method was passed a PHP-style array argument (e.g. with a name like foo[7]). These are never valid with the Slack API.

invalid_charset

The method was called via a POST request, but the charset specified in the Content-Type header was invalid. Valid charset names are: utf-8 iso-8859-1.

invalid_form_data

The method was called via a POST request with Content-Type application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data, but the form data was either missing or syntactically invalid.

invalid_post_type

The method was called via a POST request, but the specified Content-Type was invalid. Valid types are: application/x-www-form-urlencoded multipart/form-data text/plain.

missing_post_type

The method was called via a POST request and included a data payload, but the request did not include a Content-Type header.

team_added_to_org

The workspace associated with your request is currently undergoing migration to an Enterprise Organization. Web API and other platform operations will be intermittently unavailable until the transition is complete.

request_timeout

The method was called via a POST request, but the POST data was either missing or truncated.

Warnings

This table lists the expected warnings that this method will return. However, other warnings can be returned in the case where the service is experiencing unexpected trouble.

Warning Description
missing_charset

The method was called via a POST request, and recommended practice for the specified Content-Type is to include a charset parameter. However, no charset was present. Specifically, non-form-data content types (e.g. text/plain) are the ones for which charset is recommended.

superfluous_charset

The method was called via a POST request, and the specified Content-Type is not defined to understand the charset parameter. However, charset was in fact present. Specifically, form-data content types (e.g. multipart/form-data) are the ones for which charset is superfluous.

Argument Value
token Required Generate tokens to test with here.
channel Required
count Optional, default=100
inclusive Optional, default=0
latest Optional, default=now
oldest Optional, default=0
unreads Optional, default=0
Extra args