Slack moves past slash commands to message buttons

Slack has announced a new mechanism for third party apps to better integrate with its work chat platform. Rather than relying on so-called ‘slash commands’ — like /trello add Taco Drone Delivery — and then sending subsequent messages to assign values to the metadata of that task, third party apps can be configured to present a UI much more like that in a native app, including buttons that can be pressed to assign values.

Here’s a animated gif for the new Trello integration with message buttons:


Note that the buttons can cascade, as when the user selects ‘due date’ and then various options for the due date are presented. Also note that ‘attach conversation’ will attach a link to the Trello card pointing back to the chat context where the task was created.

This is a serious advance for Slack integration, and specifically, the cognitive dissonance problem with a /slash command-style integration like the one with Trello. I wrote about this recently in Slack ‘Spots’, not just Bots, where I suggested that Slack was probably working on something like this. And yes, they were.