Slack as a Command or Notification Center

Slack as a platform is hot right now. Since the Slack App Directory was announced, most Slack products are using one of two methods to interact with users: Slack as a command center or Slack as a notification center.

Slack as a Command Center

This is where lots of Slack apps live today. They allow you to use natural language (kinda) or /commands to help users solve problems or pull information from an existing service. There are a lot of great apps that use slack as a command center, such as: Howdy, Birdly, and Meekan.

Slack as a Notification Center

Most services that use Slack as a notification center have created Slack integrations to extend the reach of their existing products. They allow updates to be sent to Slack so you don’t need to look somewhere else to see information. If you have an existing web service, creating a Slack integration should be a no brainer. These are a few helpful apps that send notifications through Slack: Github, Relay (by knowtify), and Intercom.

Where does Arc fit?

Which direction is better? Well, that depends on your goals.

When Arc was created, our goal was to make analytics simple and keep them top of mind for teams. That’s perfect for Slack as a notification center. We didn’t build tons of chat commands or functionality. We are focused on building a simple tool that you set up once and keep getting valuable updates everyday.

Is treating Slack as a notification center the right strategy? Or is the future leaning towards controlling your apps through Slack? We want to deliver valuable information to entire teams without any added effort. That goal is why we are focusing on the notification center strategy. Only time, and our users, will tell us if we got it right!

Photo by Pawel Kadysz.

Originally published at on March 1, 2016.