Slack Expands As A Platform With Easier Slash Commands

Chris CrumDeveloper & Design, DevWebPro

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Slack recently launched the Add to Slack Button enabling users to get alerts, reminders, and notifications in Slack from apps and sites that use the button. According to the company, this was just the first step in improving the Slack Platform.

Enter new functionality for Slash Commands. These use the same button and are just as easy to install, the company says. It explains in a blog post:

For outside apps and services that have written code to talk to our new API, you just click a button to add it to your own Slack team. There’s also new functionality in Slash Commands: they can post both privately and publicly into channels along with improved formatting.

Once you’ve installed a new Slash Command, type a Slack message and a variety of custom output will display in your channels. We’ve done behind-the-scenes work to make it easy to do all the things you can do with a given 3rd party application, with the easiest possible installation.

Lyft, Foursquare, Dribble, Poncho, and Blockspring are among the early adopters.

Lyft's integration lets you check how long it would take to get a car, as well as the estimated cost between two addresses. It also lets you request a car to your saved home and work addresses from inside Slack.

With Foursquare's integration, Slack users can type things like /foursquare lunch near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC to find restaurants, stores, parks, etc. Dribble's slash command lets you bring up images according to keyword.

Developers can respond publicly to commands, respond up to five times to a command, up to a half hour after the initial command. They can also control the icon, name, and formatting of responses. They can add photo and text attachments.

Slack also announced this week that custom profiles are now enabled for all Standard and Plus teams. These now have bigger profile photos and share members' principal locations. They've also made improvements to the editing process. More on all of that here.

Image via Slack

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.