Slack launches message menus in effort to boost workflow tools

With new ​message menus, Slack is adding clickable drop-down menus that let people complete more complex workflows inside Slack.

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Workplace collaboration platform Slack is launching a new feature designed to bring more interactivity to conversations. With new message menus, Slack is adding clickable drop-down menus that let people complete more complex workflows inside Slack.

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Slack -- which now has 5 million daily active users overall and 1.5 million users that are paying for the service -- said message menus builds on its previous launch of message buttons. Released last year, message buttons allow users to carry out specific tasks in apps within Slack itself.

Menus do something similar, except with a whole list of potential options for more nuanced decision-making within message attachments.

"Sometimes you need a user to decide between many potential actions to move work forward -- like assigning an owner, selecting a category, or updating a status," Slack wrote in a blog post. That's where message menus come in."

Slack said message menus are unique in that they can help users navigate large data sets, such as leads from a company database, country codes, or IT tickets from an internal help desk. Simply put, menus work to streamline tasks in Slack that otherwise would have taken multiple steps to complete.

For developers, Slack said message menus are part of its commitment to growing its platform ecosystem. Slack said it has more than 900 apps in its app directory, and that platform is one of its biggest assets.

At launch, developers can build with five types of message menus: Static menus, which present a set of fixed choices; live menus, which load dynamically based on your server's response; user menus, which list the members of your Slack team; conversation menus, which list your channels (public and private) and DMs; and channel menus, which provide public channels.

Slack said the new message menus will debut with 16 apps, including Kip, SurveyMonkey, MailClark, and Memo.

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