Until now, developers were only able to push inbound messages to HipChat through its existing API, and create their own custom slash commands. That was mostly on par with what HipChat competitor Slack also currently offers. HipChat Connect takes this a step further.
“HipChat Connect is a platform that incorporates all the context available within apps, web, mobile, presence and team messaging in a way that focuses on helping people to do their jobs more easily by taking action directly, without having to switch between apps,” HipChat general manager Steve Goldsmith told me. “Now with HipChat Connect, developers are able to build full app experiences that enable direct action to be taken from within the conversation.”
Some of the companies that have already built HipChat Connect versions of their apps include Meekan, New Relic, PagerDuty, StatusPage.io, and Zendesk.
Goldsmith tells me that these apps can run on both the desktop and on mobile. “HipChat Connect does all the hard work by abstracting the complexity for developers who want to create rich app experiences directly within HipChat across mobile and desktop,” he said. “We’ve created a context-aware system that understands many different things, including if users are on mobile or desktop, presence, team context — with more to come such as location and video.”
Developers will be able to market their apps on the Atlassian Marketplace. According to the company, the Marketplace currently features about 2,000 add-ons and exceeded $100 million in sales since its inception three years ago.
While Slack tends to get all the hype, HipChat seems to be doing quite well, too. It’s currently in use by companies ranging from American Express to Marriott and Whole Foods. The company says messages sent in the app “have doubled from 4 billion to 8 billion since the beginning of 2015.”