Departments: What they are & how to add them

What are Departments?

Departments represent different channels of communication. Each Department you create may contain a unique phone number, a group of phone numbers (read more on Smart SMS here), or a business Facebook page through which you can communicate with your customers.

Depending on which pricing plan you’ve signed up for, you can start with between 1 and 5 Departments, but you can always purchase additional Departments to suit your company’s needs. A Department can be a new number that we provide for you in the area code of your choice; one or more of your existing business lines, if they're eligible for text-enablement; or the Facebook Messenger queue from your business's Facebook page.

How do Departments function?

Messages sent and received within each Department are kept in separate Conversation Lists, which, if you have access to the Departments, you can easily toggle between them (image below). Customers will need to use the unique Department phone number to send a text to that Department, and any text you send a customer will come from the phone number of the Department you're currently viewing.

If you decide to utilize multiple Departments, you can:

Why might I need multiple Departments?

You might need multiple departments if:

  • Your business has multiple physical locations that each need their own line
    • eg: a pizza chain may have 3 different Departments - one for each location.
  • Your business has multiple internal divisions that each need their own line
    • eg: Sales and Customer Support might need to maintain separate queues of customers
  • Your company's employees need different phone lines
    • eg: different sales people do not share clients, and need private lines

How to add a Department?

Once you’ve created your account, your assigned Textline phone number will be your first Department.

To create additional Departments, click Settings > Departments > New Department, then click the blue New Department button.

You can then choose what type of Department you'd like to add: a new phone number that we provide (which can be international!), an existing business line you'd like to text-enable, an existing Twilio number, an existing Nexmo number, or your business's Facebook page.

If you choose to Get a New Phone Number, you will input the area code of your choice, and we will automatically assign you a new phone number in your country and area code of choice. That number will be active and ready to use immediately.

For further information on international numbers, click here

For further information on text enabling an existing number, click here.

For further information on setting up a Smart SMS department, click here.

For further information on using an existing Twilio line, click here.

For further information on adding Facebook as a Department, click here.

Once you’ve added multiple Departments to your account, you can toggle between them in the Conversation List by selecting the drop-down arrow next to the Department name.


Our various pricing plans include certain numbers of Departments, but you can always purchase additional Departments à la carte if you need them.

Watch the tutorial video on Adding Departments here


Deleting Departments

When deleting a Department, click on the department to view its details. At the top right will be a button to remove that Department. If you cannot see that button, double check the role assigned to your agent has the correct permission. Deleting a department will:

  • Disable Shortcuts, Automations, and Dispositions associated with that department
  • Hide Metrics and Insights for that department.
  • Stop and delete any running Announcements or scheduled Announcements for that department.
  • Delete any Scheduled Messages for that department.
  • Isolate any Agent that is only assigned to that department. Agents will need to be re-assigned before they can use Textline if you delete the only department they have access to.

If you are deleting a Survey department, deleting it will:

  • Stop and delete any running surveys.
  • Allow you to view existing survey results but you cannot send a survey.
  • Require you to get a new survey number to create and send surveys.


Need more help?

Text us at +1 (415) 849-4349 or email us at