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Raphael Varieras
March 14, 2022

Zello Features: Hidden Channels

Zello's push-to-talk Hidden Channels are a bit counter-intuitive, insofar as their members can't engage in group conversations at all. In reality, Hidden Channels provide an efficient way for Zello admins to create contact lists for large groups of people.

Zello users can't create their own Contacts, or people they are permitted to talk with one-on-one. Contact assignments are made by network admins.

All members of Team Channels are automatically added to each others' contacts. Team Channel members can engage in group communications, and they can also connect with individuals in their contacts. Dynamic Channel members do not have that ability, they can only engage in conversations with the entire channel.

Many of our clients, particularly those in transportation, need a third option to really maximize Zello's push-to-talk functionality. They want the ability to enable one-on-one conversation between any two team members, but they do not want to support group conversations. Enter Zello Hidden Channels.

Admins can create contact lists by hand, of course, but as team sizes grow, this process becomes unwieldy very quickly. Building out contacts for 10 team members, for example, would require 90 distinct operations. This quickly becomes impractical.

When to use Hidden Channels

As an alternative, an admin can easily select in the Console from among a list of their Zello users, and assign them all to a Hidden Channel. The software does all the work of building out contacts.

Hidden Channels are ideal in situations where one-on-one conversation is the only permitted communication. By default, 

  • Hidden Channel members may not initiate or participate in group conversations
  • Hidden Channel members do see other members of that channel in their Contacts, and can make one-to-one connections with other members 
  • Hidden Channel members may not disconnect from the channel 

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