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conversation type

A conversation object contains information about a channel-like thing in Slack. It might be a public channel, a private channel, a direct message, or a multi-person direct message.

You'll find these objects in the Conversations API.

{
    "ok": true,
    "channel": {
        "id": "C012AB3CD",
        "name": "general",
        "is_channel": true,
        "is_group": false,
        "is_im": false,
        "created": 1449252889,
        "creator": "W012A3BCD",
        "is_archived": false,
        "is_general": true,
        "unlinked": 0,
        "name_normalized": "general",
        "is_read_only": false,
        "is_shared": false,
        "is_ext_shared": false,
        "is_org_shared": false,
        "pending_shared": [],
        "is_pending_ext_shared": false,
        "is_member": true,
        "is_private": false,
        "is_mpim": false,
        "last_read": "1502126650.228446",
        "topic": {
            "value": "For public discussion of generalities",
            "creator": "W012A3BCD",
            "last_set": 1449709364
        },
        "purpose": {
            "value": "This part of the workspace is for fun. Make fun here.",
            "creator": "W012A3BCD",
            "last_set": 1449709364
        },
        "previous_names": [ "specifics", "abstractions", "etc" ],
        "num_members": 23,
        "locale": "en-US"
    }
}

The conversational booleans

  • is_archived indicates a conversation is archived. Frozen in time.
  • is_channel indicates whether a conversation is a public channel. Everything said in a public channel can be read by anyone else belonging to a workspace. is_private will be false. Check both just to be sure, why not?
  • is_ext_shared represents this conversation as being part of a Shared Channel with a remote organization. Your app should make sure the data it shares in such a channel is appropriate for both workspaces. is_shared will also be true.
  • is_general means the channel is the workspace's "general" discussion channel (even if it's not named #general but it might be anyway). That might be important to your app because almost every user is a member.
  • is_group means the channel is a private channel. is_private will also be true. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
  • is_im means the conversation is a direct message between two distinguished individuals or a user and a bot. Yes, it's an is_private conversation.
  • is_member indicates the user or bot user or Slack app associated with the token making the API call is itself a member of the conversation.
  • is_mpim represents an unnamed private conversation between multiple users. It's an is_private kind of thing.
  • is_org_shared explains whether this shared channel is shared between Enterprise Grid workspaces within the same organization. It's a little different from (externally) Shared Channels. Yet, is_shared will be true.
  • is_pending_ext_shared is intriguing. It means the conversation is ready to become an is_ext_shared channel but isn't quite ready yet and needs some kind of approval or sign off. Best to treat it as if it were a shared channel, even if it traverses only one workspace.
  • is_private means the conversation is privileged between two or more members. Meet their privacy expectations.
  • is_read_only means the conversation can't be written to by typical users. Admins may have the ability.
  • is_shared means the conversation is in some way shared between multiple workspaces. Look for is_ext_shared and is_org_shared to learn which kind it is, and if that matters, act accordingly. Have we mentioned how great is_private is yet?

Other attributes

The name parameter indicates the name of the channel-like thing, without a leading hash sign. Don't get too attached to that name. It might change. Don't bother storing it even. When thinking about channel-like things, think about their IDs and their type and the team/workspace they belong to.

creator is the user ID of the member that created this channel. created is a unix timestamp.

is_archived will be true if the channel is archived.

is_general will be true if this channel is the "general" channel that includes all regular team members. In most teams this is called #general but some teams have renamed it.

members is a list of user ids for all users in this channel. This includes any disabled accounts that were in this channel when they were disabled.

topic and purpose provide information about the channel topic and purpose.

is_member will be true if the calling member is part of the channel.

Some API methods (such as channels.join) will include extra state information for channels when the calling user is a member. last_read is the timestamp for the last message the calling user has read in this channel. unread_count is a full count of visible messages that the calling user has yet to read. unread_count_display is a count of messages that the calling user has yet to read that matter to them (this means it excludes things like join/leave messages). latest is the latest message in the channel.

These channel objects are not the same object type as private channels, which are considered group objects.