At an evening event in San Francisco today, communications company (and rapidly growing unicorn) Slack announced two major accommodations for third-party app developers on the platform.
The first: an $80 million developer fund, created in partnership with Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark Growth and Social Capital. The money will go towards developers who create “Slack-first” apps — software and plug-ins that are specifically designed for the platform (but aren’t necessarily exclusive). Slack has said that it has already made several investments into third-party app development, and will ramp up its investment in the future.
In a companion to the fund, the company has also unveiled a directory listing 150 Slack-compatible apps including Twitter, Dropbox and Trello. The directory is designed to make it much easier for users to find and enable the apps that would be applicable to the way that they use Slack as a platform today, according to April Underwood, who is head of platform at Slack:
We’re deeply committed to supporting a diverse and valuable ecosystem of third-party Apps and making them easy to discover. With the launch of the Slack Fund and App Directory, we’ll be able to both support developers, and help our customers derive more value from Slack with a universe of Apps that make their work lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive.
There are also updates to the Slack under the hood as well: The company has rolled out several API updates, and has launched a new framework for Slack called BotKit — developed by the makers of Howdy. There is also support for AWS Lambda, which could provide the logic necessary to create even more sophisticated bots, plug-ins and automated workflows on Slack.
Slack’s runaway success has somehow also gotten bigger: today, the company boasts 2 million daily active users. A spokesperson attributes that to consumer love:
“Word of mouth continues to be our strongest growth driver,” the spokesperson said. “Our customers see less e-mail, fewer meetings and are more productive. When they experience these results they tell their friends and colleagues.”
Developers will be able to get hands on their new tools today.