Yesterday Slack, the fast-growing workplace collaboration tool (and domestic custodian, if you’re like me), made a series of announcements around a central theme: Slack the platform. There was the announcement of a Slack app directory with over 150 launch partners like Twitter and Dropbox, a new framework for Slack development called Botkit, simplified API documentation, and a new fund focused on investing in Slack-first companies.
The company also released some notable metrics. Most interesting to me was the news that there have been over 4,000 different Slack integrations installed more than 2.2 million times. This is clearly evidence of an emerging platform.
To date, building for Slack hasn’t been easy (hence the new framework and simplified API docs). Finding and taking advantage of third party tools hasn’t been any better — usually I hear about new Slack apps from friends or the media. When I do find something new and useful to try on Slack, the process to get going has been fairly convoluted. And yet still, I calculate that one in every five interactions — one in every five messages — I share on Slack are through a third party app: apps for team summaries, To-Do lists, travel booking, expense reports, and, yes, GIF sharing.
But, it’s been early days on the Slack platform as fast adopters and motivated beta testers have taken advantage of the many integrations and bots. The new Slack directory and development framework bring these services to a much larger audience. I believe there are many, many integrations and bots to come that will expand and deepen the utility of Slack for everyone. And, with two million daily active users, there’s no better enterprise messaging platform for developers to solve problems for a big audience, quickly.
For this reason, Spark is delighted to support Slack’s new fund for Slack-first services. We believe Slack will be a central communication hub in the enterprise and that developers are integral to unlocking its full potential. Indeed, “What if you could run your whole job from a messaging app?”
Disclaimer: as stated above, I am an investor in Slack through both Spark and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and through my husband as well, a partner at GV. I am very biased. But, as I’ve said before, I believe it’s good business to invest in products and services you love if you can. Slack is no exception.