State of the Slack App Ecosystem

This is the first of a multi-post look at the current Slack App ecosystem.

Fresh off of another monster round of funding, and an $80M Fund to support investments in the overall ecosystem, there’s a lot of reason to be excited about Slack as a new communication platform. I’ve been researching a few business opportunities that may leverage the platform, and with my product hat on, decided to spend some time analyzing the existing ecosystem of Slack Applications to see what I could learn.

To analyze the ecosystem, I mined Slack’s Application Directory as my primary source of data on participating companies and applications. The data below is based on listings available as of April 13th, 2016.

What I Found

Let’s first look at the companies participating within the ecosystem:

  • 392 Companies have Slack Applications listed in the App Directory
  • ~ 95% of these companies are private ( notionally accurate…I simply scanned. Notable public companies include Microsoft, Google, and New Relic )

I’m going to spend more time looking at these companies and their backgrounds ( size, funding, product-dependency upon Slack, etc… ) and share in another post.

Applications are listed in the directory by category, and include the following distribution:

source: listings on Slack App Directory, April 13, 2016

Productivity ( 136 apps ), Developer Tools ( 105 apps ), Social & Fun ( 94 apps ) and Communication ( 92 apps) categories account for over 50% of the Slack App ecosystem.

In total, there were 810 application entries in the directory. Many vendors are listed in multiple categories, either with the same or different applications ( a cursory look suggests more cross-listing than unique applications ).

In addition to digging deeper into the companies within this ecosystem, I’m particularly interested in how these organizations are monetizing their applications.

Next Up

In no particular order ( unless I hear from y’all ), I’m going to look at:

  • Company and product profiles
  • Monetization strategies within the ecosystem

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