Bots please: Slack needs a news feed

Slack News Feed Mockup

Slack, everybody’s favourite chat client, is a great way for communicating within a team and avoiding emails. At Ocasta we don’t just use it to discuss projects or what’s for lunch but to get timely updates on our server deploys, when apps have been built by Jenkins and when pull requests are created or merged. These useful automated messages are triggered by bots but treated as full slack citizens; triggering notifications and happily interrupting any ongoing discussions.

As a workaround we pop news related messages into muted channels or team based channels (such as Android pull requests going to the #android-dev channel), so you just dip in when you need them – but that removes them from the context of the conversation.

If Slack had a News Feed per channel it could let these timely updates feed into a central place without interrupting the discussion or requiring you to proactively peep. In the mockup above I’ve repurposed Slack’s What’s New section to show a feed similar to our bot generated content, whilst still letting those that love notifications (why?!) get alerted when news feeds into Slack. Keeping the main chat free of noisy bots but keeping the team up to date without filling up their inbox.

Integrations were key to Slack’s crazy growth, a News Feed could stop them from being what ruins it.

If you’re not using Slack, here’s an affiliate link that scores us both $100.