Slack’s true power is being a platform. A platform that other tools can plug into and play nice with. The company says there are 80+ of these types of integrations and thousands of developers hacking away at adding more.
Right now, you have to rely on you or someone on your team finding the integrations that you want on the integrations page and then adding it to your instance of Slack. Easy enough, but it’s not until you need something pulled into Slack where you find out that it’s a good idea to add that integration. To help those contextual integrations along, Slack is introducing an “Add To Slack” button that companies can add to their sites and apps.
For example, Nuzzel and Box are using the “Add To Slack” button on their sites, which is not only a reminder, but a call to action to add Box as an integration to your team’s instance of Slack. Simple, yet virally smart for growth.
Slack’s decision to allow simpler integration outside of its own software domain harks back to Facebook’s work to integrate its own buttons around the Internet.
In a single move, Facebook greatly expanded its reach online, and deeply integrated with a host of sites without having to do integration work itself. Here, Slack is doing something similar, but inside of the constellation of business apps.
If you’ve already integrated, or once you do, those buttons may let you send things to Slack channels, depending on what the service is. In Box’s case, you can send a file to your team right from Box. Super handy.
The company says the thought behind this button is to help indie developers get their integrations, bots and other tools out there and installed, which is why the “Add To Slack” button is now in its API.
The whole idea makes sense. As you surf the web and try new sites or apps, seeing that Slack button might help you make the decision to try the service and potentially even pay for it. It’s a win for both companies, since Slack keeps you happy and active within its product and you get to try new functionality tailored just for it. It’s a powerful beginning to a budding ecosystem.
If you’re presented with this list, you’re less likely to think of the context in which you’d need one of them to access or interact with Slack:
And since our work and personal lives are merging online, seeing this button will grab attention much like Facebook’s Like button does today:
Here’s Invision’s implementation, allowing team members to ship screens to channels that need to see what they’re working on:
If email can find a place in Slack, then any product can I suppose.
In a year, it will be a better question to ask who is not integrated with Slack, than who is.