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As part of the Conversations API, this method's required scopes depend on the type of channel-like object you're working with. A corresponding channels: scope is required when working with public channels, groups: for private channels, also the same rules are applied for im: and mpim:.

This Conversations API method opens a multi-person direct message or just a 1:1 direct message.

Use conversations.create for public or private channels.

Provide 1 to 8 user IDs in the user parameter to open or resume a conversation. Providing only 1 ID will create a direct message. Providing more will create an mpim.

If there are no conversations already in progress including that exact set of members, a new multi-person direct message conversation begins.

Subsequent calls to with the same set of users will return the already existing conversation.


Argument Example Required Description
token xxxx-xxxxxxxxx-xxxx Required

Authentication token bearing required scopes.

channel G1234567890 Optional

Resume a conversation by supplying an im or mpim's ID. Or provide the users field instead.

return_im true Optional

Boolean, indicates you want the full IM channel definition in the response.

users W1234567890,U2345678901,U3456789012 Optional

Comma separated lists of users. If only one user is included, this creates a 1:1 DM. The ordering of the users is preserved whenever a multi-person direct message is returned. Supply a channel when not supplying users.

This method supports application/json via HTTP POST. Present your token in your request's Authorization header. Learn more.


Response structure is altered by providing return_im parameter. When set to false, the default, just a conversation's ID is returned. When set to true, the entire conversation object is returned.

Typical success response

    "ok": true,
    "channel": {
        "id": "D069C7QFK"

Passing return_im will expand the response to include more info about a conversation

    "ok": true,
    "no_op": true,
    "already_open": true,
    "channel": {
        "id": "D069C7QFK",
        "created": 1460147748,
        "is_im": true,
        "is_org_shared": false,
        "user": "U069C7QF3",
        "last_read": "0000000000.000000",
        "latest": null,
        "unread_count": 0,
        "unread_count_display": 0,
        "is_open": true,
        "priority": 0

Typical error response

    "ok": false,
    "error": "channel_not_found"


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

Value passed for channel was invalid.


Value(s) passed for users was invalid.


The calling user is restricted from seeing the requested user.


A specified user has been disabled.


Missing users in request


Needs at least 2 users to open


Needs at most 8 users to open


This type of conversation cannot be used with this method.


The calling token is not granted the necessary scopes to complete this operation.


No authentication token provided.


Some aspect of authentication cannot be validated. Either the provided token is invalid or the request originates from an IP address disallowed from making the request.


Authentication token is for a deleted user or workspace.


Authentication token is for a deleted user or workspace or the app has been removed.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


The server could not complete your operation(s) without encountering a catastrophic error. It's possible some aspect of the operation succeeded before the error was raised.


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

Slack did nothing when serving this request but it did not fail.


The conversation was already open so Slack did nothing.


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.


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 Optional
return_im Optional
users Optional
Extra args