Let the Apps Unfurl

We’re big fans of Slack here on the Glitch team, especially since most of us are distributed and I, personally, need a vehicle for constant emoji communication. We’ve set our Slack team up with apps — and, most importantly, custom emoji — to optimize our workflow. But one of the most subtle features in Slack we appreciate is perhaps one of the best parts of the platform: Unfurling.

“Unfurl” is what Slack calls it when you share a link into a channel and something special happens. These days, it’s usually a little snippet from the site, or a thumbnail image. But imagine if simply pasting a link into a channel could have all the power of the app that’s connected on the other side of that link. Suddenly, that little link could be rich, and interactive, and just plain useful. Much like you.

Today, Slack has launched App Unfurls, and it’s a feature we couldn’t be more excited about, for two reasons:

  • First: we’re supporting App Unfurls in Glitch so any link to a Glitch app in a Slack channel will get smart, simple links to let you run the app, view its code, or remix it into a new app. Isn’t that cool? Yes.
~* you go, Jennifer *~
  • And the second reason is even more exciting: You can add App Unfurls right now to any site or app, just by remixing our sample app on Glitch. Use our example as a starting point, modify it to drop in the right information or links from your app, and you’re all set! (If you’ve ever gotten OEmbed support working, this is even easier.)

What do you get when you combine Slack’s new App Unfurls with Glitch’s easy starter app? Super smart links to your app that will take the guess work out of what Slack users can do with your app.

Get started

Okay, it’s time to give it a try:

Install the Glitch App Unfurler in your favorite Slack channel (you might need permission to do so) and try dropping in some links to your favorite Glitch apps.

roll that new beautiful unfurl footage

Marvel at the shiny links! Ponder what would happen if your app supported these and other smart interactive features, too! What’s extra cool is that you can make an unfurl app that unfurls links of any domain. Perhaps your team wants to see something else when a Glitch link is dropped in — you can make the app that controls that. And if you ever wanted to unfurl authenticated content from your application into Slack when someone links to it, now you can!

Click this link to remix our App Unfurler and make it your own. Once you’ve got a basic version of App Unfurling working, let us know! You can tweet us at @glitch and we’ll share your work with everybody.

That’s it! We can’t wait to see what you build, and a special thanks to our friends at Slack for all the help in getting us ready to make a great App Unfurl experience on Glitch. We’re excited to help with Slack’s efforts to make unfurling even smarter and more useful.

Oh, and while you’re here? Make sure to check out all the different Slack apps and bots on Glitch, any of which you can remix and make your own, to help make your team more productive and happy.

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