Bringing your bot into threaded messages

Keep conversations in context with Threads

Slack API
Slack API
Jan 18, 2017 · 2 min read

Threads are a new way to connect related messages in Slack, helping teams organize and manage the variety of conversations that happen in channels every day. You can start a thread as a dedicated space to dive deeper, ask questions, or give feedback on a specific topic.

Just as people can use threads as a home for conversations that may not be relevant to everyone, the same is true for your app. Our Web, RTM, and Events APIs now support threads, and your app can post messages in a thread — opening the door to build more interactive workflows without worrying about adding noise to a channel.

When should you use threads?

Consider using threads to focus your app’s interactions in a channel, especially when those interactions require multiple steps. Specifically, apps that fetch information are a natural fit for threads. Actions like retrieving background on a sales lead, customer history from a support ticket, or more detail on expense reports are particularly well-suited.

For example, an app like Statsbot might use threads when scheduling a marketing team’s metrics reports. Before, every message in this exchange would notify the entire channel. But now, it’s all contained in a thread — and the person who started the exchange can interact freely with Statsbot without feeling like a distraction.

In addition to information retrieval, threads can be ideal for apps that send ongoing status updates. Let’s say you’ve built an incident monitoring app that alerts a Slack channel when it detects an error. As a development team works to resolve the problem, your app can post updates inside an easy-to-follow thread.

Making your app work with threads

Apps with permission to read and write messages can receive threaded messages without any additional scopes — just look for messages with the new `thread_ts` attribute. Replying to threads is as easy as specifying another message’s timestamp. Want to know more? See our documentation to learn how to make your app work well with threads.

Threads are rolling out over the next few days and will be available on the latest versions of our desktop and mobile apps. You can learn about the design decisions behind threads, or dive into the full documentation.

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