Giving apps a new home in Slack

Discoverability step 1, and more to come

Buster Benson
Slack Platform Blog
3 min readJul 11, 2017


You probably invested weeks or months to build your fantastic Slack app. You submitted it for review by our team, and now it’s in the Slack App Directory. Our customers discover apps there, especially featured apps, and it’s likely if you’ve had your app on the front page that you saw a nice bump in installs as a result.

We built the Slack platform with the vision that we could eventually become a significant distribution and engagement lever for enterprise software products built by all kinds of teams — like yours. Fortunately, because of your partnership, we’re starting to see that vision become a reality. We now have over 1,000 apps in our App Directory, and more than 200 of them have over a thousand companies actively using them.

Today we’re taking another step towards that goal. The Slack App Directory — the place customers discover apps — is moving into the Slack client! Users can now find apps in the sidebar, right under their direct messages and Slack channels.


With today’s update, users can click Apps from the sidebar to see the Slack apps installed on their team. We’ve heard from many of you that continued engagement after installation is a priority, and this is a simple way to remind users that your app is ready to be used.

If your app isn’t already installed on a given team, it is now discoverable in Slack via search. Users can search the entire Slack App Directory — right within Slack — using your app’s name or by keywords like “Productivity” or “Marketing.” From the search results, users see a call to action where they can initiate the installation process and, just like that, your app has a new user.


Users have traditionally found bots under their direct messages list. Those bots now show up in a dedicated Apps section of the sidebar, a space that will one day include apps without bot functionality as well.

In addition to moving bots down into the Apps section, we’ve also refreshed what users see when they interact one-on-one with a bot. Accompanying the direct message space is an About tab, showcasing the bot’s product screenshots, video, and description from its App Directory listing (if you haven’t added these to your app yet, now’s a great time to add them.)

What’s to come

Only bots appear in the sidebar for now, but you could imagine how this space could function for all types of apps. Apps could use it as an onboarding space for new users, as an inbox space for notifications, or as a dashboard to manage a trial or billing period. It’s a new canvas for future app functionality. Stay tuned for updates that will impact this space over the next couple of months.

We know it’s important you stay informed about where someone might encounter your Slack app. To that end, you can reference this short cheat sheet.

If you have thoughts or feedback about these changes, we’d love to hear your input. You can drop us a note on Twitter.

These updates will be rolling out to users over the next day or so. To get a first look at upcoming releases for your app, you can install the Slack Platform News app.



Buster Benson
Slack Platform Blog

Product at @Medium. Author of “Why Are We Yelling? The Art of Productive Disagreement”. Also:,,