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Atlassian, the company behind the issue-tracking software JIRA and the HipChat team communication app, is announcing today a new Connect API that will allow third-party developers to build richer versions of their apps inside of HipChat.

The API will allow data to be displayed in richer format than plain text, triggered by a few words in a command line, unlike the updated API from Slack, a team communication app and HipChat rival. (Rally Software’s Flowdock is another competitor.) The new HipChat Connect API can show extensive and interactive detail in the right rail of HipChat and in the main message window.

HipChat already offers more than 100 integrations with other services, including Facebook, Intercom, MailChimp, Meekan, PagerDuty, Trello, Twitter, Wunderlist, Zapier, and Zendesk. But the Connect API will allow HipChat users to do much more without leaving that app.

“It’s a potential gold mine for developers to go learn our API and build apps on top of it,” Atlassian HipChat general manager Steve Goldsmith said in an interview with VentureBeat. “It’s really exciting.”

Integrations based on the new API are available from Convergely, Call Centre, Facebook, Meekan, Twitter, and Zendesk, among others. New Relic, PagerDuty, Tempo, and — a Slack favorite — Giphy integrations are coming later. The integrations mean that it’s possible to monitor social media activity, answer calls, send messages to people collaborating on software projects, and even keep an eye on the number of current technical issues without scrolling through the earlier chat. Think of it as more of a dashboard and less of another stream of updates in the chat room.

People using HipChat on mobile devices cannot yet take action inside widgets that use the new Connect API. But Atlassian is working on that. “Messages from the new apps can be received on mobile, and we’re targeting the first half of next year to enable developers to create feature-rich apps within HipChat mobile clients,” Goldsmith wrote in an email.

Unlike Slack, which now has more than 1.7 million daily active users, Atlassian does not provide user numbers for HipChat. But Atlassian is disclosing that the number of messages sent in HipChat has gone from 4 billion at the beginning of this year to 8 billion.

Atlassian has reportedly filed confidentially to go public.

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