Slack recently shared insights into how it plans to compete with new entrants to the enterprise chat landscape that include Microsoft Teams, Google’s Hangout Chats, and Workplace by Facebook.
Near-, mid-, and long-term plans for the future of the Slack platform for bots were updated Friday in this publicly visible Trello project management board.
In the near term, Slack will make bots discoverable for users inside Slack. Today Slack bots are added from the Slack App Directory with a web browser. The company also plans to enable “deeper messaged-based interactivity with text input and more” and track new events like when a Slack team uninstalls an app or bot.
The ability to install Slack bots inside Slack is a mid-term goal, as is allowing new display of attachments like lists and tables inside Slack.
Long term, Slack wants to allow a larger variety of kinds of bots, including those that help people fill out forms.
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Listed under Ongoing Improvements on the Trello board is an update to the Events API that will allow developers to know when their bot is mentioned or added to new channels.
Slack is announcing these changes to its road map as competitors like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook charge deeper into the enterprise chat and team messaging space.
Earlier this week at the Build conference, Microsoft Teams app developers got the ability to publish bots directly to the Office Store. Microsoft Teams became generally available for Office 365 customers in March.
Google debuted bots for Hangout Chats, part of its G Suite, in March. More enterprise messaging news could be on the way this week at the company’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, which runs May 16-18 in Mountain View, California.
The Slack platform, App Directory, and the $80 million Slack Fund launched in December 2015.