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We are a small community around a bunch of Open Source projects and would like a common place to chat. In the past we've used Slack but Slack has changed their APIs (in 2020 and 2021) so automatic (self serve, like slackin) invitation tools don't work anymore for new communities.

We don't want to invite people manually. The only solution the free Slack plans currently offer are to create expiring (30 days or so?) invitation links but someone needs to remember to update it every couple of weeks.

We're considering alternatives to Slack but wanted to reach out and see if anyone knows of a new solution to allow self-serve invitations to free Slack communities.

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It seems that you have already described most (if not all) of the options you have within Slack, and, while I hope there is a better solution for you within Slack, I can offer some insight to address the last sentence of your post, where you mentioned you were considering alternatives to Slack. I think down the line this will become mandatory for you if you want to continue inviting as many people as you seem to desire, and if you want to work completely within the free version (as your question says): Slack will make you start paying when you reach enough users, when you have enough messages, and for almost any other growth measure that it sounds like your community wants to reach. We had this problem in two of our communities, and in one of them: all our older messages got deleted when we reached 10,000 messages across the entire channel (which didn't take long for us at all). Then we constantly kept losing the old messages whenever new messages were written.

We switched to an open-source alternative called Zulip, which is free, doesn't have such limits, and for us it was a major advantage that it also supported LaTeX (at least far better than Slack does, but this might not be important for you). There were other advantages too, but I've listed the three biggest ones for us.

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  • Thank you. We've actually used Zulip in the past. The reason we wanted to stick with Slack for the community was adoption. Almost everyone in the community is already using Slack or Discord. – Lars Francke Apr 28 at 15:00

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