Slack Launches App Platform, Directory, Fund

Chris CrumBusiness

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It's a big week for Slack. The company hosted an event and made some major announcements. these include the Slack Platform and App Directory as well as a new fund and a new framework.

Slack claims it has hit 2 million active users, and is likely to continue to grow rapidly if media attention is any indication.

As previously reported, Slack is bringing third-party apps into the fold. This goes beyond the previously available integrations.

The new Slack App Directory gives Slack users access to over 160 apps sorted by category, popularity, and staff favorites. Categories include: Analytics, Communication, Customer Support, Design, Developer Tools, File Management, HR, Marketing, Office Management, Payments & Accounting, Productivity, Project Management, Security & Compliance, and Social & Fun.

You can find the directory at, and you can search for apps from within Slack by searching /apps <keyword>. It will return the three most popular apps related to that keyword.

The new Slack Fund is $80 million set aside to support and encourage developers to build apps that interact with Slack. It's backed by Slack itself with Slack investors Accel, Andreessen-Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social+Capital.

"If you’re a developer or small company deciding whether to make a bet on the Slack platform, the Slack Fund is a new source of support to help you get started building apps," the company says in a blog post. "The Slack Fund will fund both 'Slack-first' apps as well as B2B and enterprise tools that make Slack integrations a core part of their offering."

The new framework for Slack development is called Botkit, which comes from Howdy.

"It greatly simplifies the creation of apps (especially bots) with a flexible codebase that handles things like authenticating apps to a team and the sending, receiving, and processing of messages with our API," Slack says. "With Botkit, developers can stop reinventing the wheel on basic functionality and instead get a head start on writing code for what their bots actually do and how their apps interact with Slack. Botkit will also provide a simplified way for new developers to get into programming for Slack by building off the impressive collection of tools available in it."

While not part of the announcements, Slack is said to have a new enterprise version on the way as well.

Images 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.