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Orbit API

Slack integration

Available on Starter, Growth, Premium & Enterprise plans
Available on Growth, Premium & Enterprise plans
Available on Premium & Enterprise plans
Available on the Enterprise plan

Please see FAQ for info about how Slack's new pricing plans impact Orbit.

This guide will walk you through setting up the Slack integration.

The Orbit Slack Integration will automatically ingest messages in your community Slack. We’ll create a profile for every active participant and an activity for each message, allowing you to see when they joined, the channels they are more active on, and the specific messages they posted.

The Slack integration can now create members and activities for public and private channels. If you’d like it to do so for shared channels, direct messages, or something else, please drop us a line in our Discord server or at team@orbit.love.

👍Slack integration vs. Slack App:
The Slack integration is installed on your community Slack, and will create members profiles and activities in Orbit. The Slack App is a different, unrelated feature that can be installed on your company Slack to receive Slack Notifications and get the nifty /orbit Slack command. To learn more about the Orbit Slack App, head to this page.

Initially, Orbit will import the last 12 months of activity with a limit of up to 100,000 activities. If you'd like more history, just let us know.

🚧 Is your Slack workspace on the Slack Free Plan?
Please note that Slack only preserves the 10,000 most recent messages in your workspace and removes anything earlier from its storage. The first-time historical import is limited by what is available, and anything after that 10,000 message mark will not be available to import.

Connect a Slack account to your workspace

First, head to the Integrations section of your Workspace Settings page. If you've already connected the Orbit GitHub, Twitter, or Discourse integrations, you'll see them there.

To get started, click "Slack" in the Plug & Play Integrations section.

A modal similar to the one below will pop up. Click on Connect Slack to start the authorization process.

You will be redirected to Slack's authorization screen. The app asks for read-only permissions. Make sure that the correct Slack workspace is selected in the top-right corner, then click Allow.

❗️Slack’s default settings allow for any member to install an application in a workspace. Be sure to select the correct Slack workspace on that screen, or you might install Orbit in an unrelated community!

If successful, Slack will send you back to Orbit and you'll see your linked Slack account. Please note that you must also complete the next steps before activities from Slack will be imported.

Add the Orbit Integration to your Slack channels

📘 For now, the Slack integration can create members and activities for public and private channels. If you’d like it to do so for shared channels, direct messages or something else, please drop us a line in our Discord server or at team@orbit.love.

Open the Slack application to the Slack workspace you just connected with Orbit.

Select any public channel (say, #general) and open the Channel Details menu by clicking on the top-right “info” icon.

Next, under the “More” menu, click “Add apps”:

Browse the catalog or use the search bar until you find “Orbit Integration”, then click Add.

The Orbit integration is now added to the #general channel! This will import historical messages and profiles (up to one year), and will listen for any new activities.

A message may appear in the channel you just configured, saying “Orbit was added to #channel by you”.

📘The message “Orbit was added to #channel by you” may appear in every channel you add the integration to. Slack Workspace admins can delete it by opening the “More actions” menu on that message and selecting “Delete message”.

To add the Orbit integration to more channels, you can either repeat the same steps or take advantage of the message shown above: clicking on the name or icon of “Orbit” in that message will open a menu, from which you can add the integration to more channels with a click:

You can also type the following command in the channel you want the Orbit integration to be added to: /invite @orbit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I see a “X joined #channel” activity in some Slack members’ timelines, but not others?

Unfortunately, the Slack API doesn’t offer a reliable way to know when a particular member joined a channel. The only available information are the “X joined #channel” messages you sometimes see in a channel:

Those messages appear infrequently as per Slack’s default configuration option for that setting:

Thus, when the Orbit integration is doing a historical import, it can only create “X joined #channel”-type activities when it is written in the channel itself, which is seldom.

I have dozens of channels; why can’t I add Orbit to all channels automatically?

Behind the scenes, the Orbit integration works as a Slack Bot in order to listen to incoming messages. For now, the Orbit Slack Bot can not be added automatically to all channels with the scopes that we ask for.

Why does Orbit announce that it’s been added to a channel?

Behind the scenes, the Orbit integration works as a Slack Bot in order to listen to incoming messages. Slack announces every time a Slack Bot is added to a channel, along with who added it.

That message can be removed by Slack Workspace Admins in the “More actions” menu, by selecting “Delete message”.

How do I remove the Orbit Integration from a particular channel?

To remove the Orbit Integration from a specific channel, open the “Channel Details” menu, then “More”, then “View N apps in #channel”:

You can then remove the Orbit integration from that channel.

I already have an existing Slack integration but I don't have access to private Slack channels, how do I upgrade to the latest Slack integration version?

To upgrade your existing Slack Integration, go to Workspace Settings > Integrations, and click on the button for your linked Slack account. This will open the settings page for the integration.

On the next screen, click the purple 'Upgrade' button and then you'll be redirected to a screen where you'll click "Allow" to grant permission for the integration to access your updated scope (including private Slack channels).

Note: you'll only have the option to upgrade if you are the original user who added the Slack integration to your Orbit workspace. If a teammate originally added the Slack integration to your Orbit workspace, you'll see a similar message to the one below:

I get a message on screen that says my "integration is no longer valid"

In rare cases, long time Orbit users may have connected their Slack account to Orbit but not completed the setup process. Over time, Slack will revoke the original access that was granted because it isn't being used. If you see this message, you can click on Re-connect Slack and reauthorize your Slack account to get everything restarted.

Slack recently announced changes to Free and Pro plans which go into effect on September 1, 2022. How will this impact Orbit’s integration with Slack?

The updated pricing plans only impact the historical import for users who connect a new Slack community to Orbit after September 1, 2022. Those communities will only be able to import 90 days of previous activity if they are on the Free plan. There will be no impact to existing workspaces.

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