Slack is rolling out a new experience today for apps made to help get things done at work. App Home made its debut in beta last fall at the Spec developer conference along with other tools made to give developers more ways to do things with a visual interface and without text commands. It allows users to quickly access major information that can help a business function and extends the functionality of an app in Slack beyond a bot sharing info in a channel or sending noisy alerts.
App Home may be one of the biggest changes in how you can get things done at work with Slack since the launch of Block Kit or App Actions to make it possible to quickly file a Trello card or Jira ticket without the need to type a shortcode command or leave Slack.
"It's fully customizable, so it could be that at one point if you're navigating to that Home tab, the app decides that what they want to show you at 9 a.m. is a graph of your daily updates and top highlights, but then at 2 p.m. when you navigate back, they want to change that up and show you the five projects that have gotten updates recently. So the developer has a ton of flexibility there to build what's right," Slack head of developer relations Bear Douglas told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
Google Calendar launched the first App Home integration last fall. At launch today, five more apps — Halp, Drift, Simple Poll, Zapier, and Donut — got App Home functionality to give users a way to immediately create a ticket, address open or pending tickets, skim polling history, or help people in an organization to get to know each other better.
The Drift app now allows sales teams to follow their performance and collectively respond to inbound sales leads that emerge from customers who start a conversation on their website.
"There's a lot of revenue attached to this [customer conversations], so when you when you use a tool like Drift, what we influence is the pipeline in your sales process, effectively increasing the amount of sales that you have as a company," Drift CTO Elias Torres told VentureBeat in a phone interview. "And so our dashboard shows you the entire funnel of conversations happening on your website, how many conversations are happening, how many people are giving you emails or phone numbers, how that's translating into meetings with people at your company, and then how does that translate into pipeline, which then translates into direct revenue."
App Home could be more influential as more apps and SaaS providers extend use cases. Companies can also add App Home to their own apps for internal use.
"I'm hoping more and more project management tools follow the simple poll example of cataloging decisions and having that decision record really easy to find," Douglas said.
The launch of App Home continues the Slack Platform roadmap and plans that started in 2016 to create a marketplace for SaaS and productivity software makers.