How to add RSS feeds to your Slack feed

Don’t miss important news, because you spend too much time in Slack. Add RSS feeds to stay up to date.

How to add RSS feeds to your Slack feed
Don’t miss important news, because you spend too much time in Slack. Add RSS feeds to stay up to date.

If you are a hard Slack user, you may find that you spend more time within the boundaries of that collaboration tool than any other. If that is the case, why shouldn’t you also receive your news there? Sound like something you might want or need? If so, then it’s good that Slack can add RSS feeds.

With this function you can always be aware of your favorite topic-specific RSS feed from your favorite Slack workspace. It is a one-two punch of efficiency. If that sounds like something you might want, let’s see how it’s done.

SEE: Slack: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What you need

The only things you need to make this work are: An RSS feed to follow and a Slack workspace that you can use to install apps. If your workspace does not allow app installation, contact the Slack administrator for your company or team and see if they can install the app for you.

The easiest way to install apps on Slack is via the desktop app or the web-based interface. With a bit of cheating you can install via the mobile app (I will mention later how). I will demonstrate the installation on the desktop app. The good news is that regardless of the route you take for installation, the RSS feed is displayed on your workspace, regardless of whether you use the desktop app, the web-based interface, or the mobile app.

How to install the RSS app

Here are the steps for installing the RSS app in Slack:

  1. Open the Slack desktop app.
  2. Click the + button under Apps (Figure A).

Figure A

3. In the resulting window (Figure B), type RSS and press Enter on your keyboard.
4. Click the Install button associated with the resulting list of RSS apps.
5. When your default browser is opened, click Add to slack and then click Allow.

Figure B

Search for the RSS app.

To install the app on your mobile device, visit the app page in your mobile browser and follow the same steps as described above (minus the bits of the desktop app). The app page for the RSS app is http://YOURWORKSPACENAME.slack.com/services/BP9L645QA, where YOURWORKSPACENAME is the name of the workspace to which you want to add the app.

Add a feed

With the app installed, we must now add a feed. For example, suppose you want to follow the TechRepublic Open Source feed. To do this, open the RSS app settings feed by clicking on the Apps list in the left sidebar of the Slack app. In the resulting window, search for RSS and, when it appears in Slack (Figure C), click View.

Figure C

In the resulting window, click Settings that will open your default web browser. In that window, paste the RSS address in the Feed URL text field (Figure D).

Figure D

Then choose where you want to place the feed. Click the Choose a channel drop-down list and select your user name (which sends the feed as direct messages), to another user, or to a channel.

Once you’ve arranged that, click Subscribe to this feed and you’re done.

At this point, every time a new message appears in the RSS feed, it is automatically displayed in the channel or to the user you have configured.

And that’s all there is to add an RSS feed to Slack. If your workspace allows, this is a great way to stay up to date while staying within your favorite collaboration tool.

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