Customize Your Input Devices

Slack as a Shared Notification Layer

I'm looking forward to Nuzzel notifications here.

I’m looking forward to Nuzzel notifications here.

Here’s an interesting announcement from the Slack team earlier today:

You’ll soon find a button on many of your favorite apps and sites that says “Add to Slack”. Clicking the button will take you to an authentication page where you’ll pick which Slack team you’d like to integrate with the service, and which channel (or your own @slackbot) the service will report to (provided your Team admin/owners allow team members to add integrations).

Once configured, any web apps or services that send you notifications or emails can start automatically reporting those to Slack. Many apps and services will also give you the ability to share things into Slack without leaving their app; handy!

(Emphasis mine.)

We use Slack at MacStories, and we pay for the fantastic service it offers. Something I’ve recently started testing is using Slack as a shared notification layer for multiple users: rather than being alerted of important news or updates myself and then having to communicate them manually to others, I can let the notification go to Slack directly so everyone can know instantly and take action more quickly. I’ve been doing this with integrations such as RSS, Zapier, IFTTT, and the recently launched email in both regular Slack channels as well as a dedicated #aggregator channel where bots only report notifications and links.

With today’s announcement, Slack is making it easier for developers to build support for Slack notifications even if their apps have nothing to do with Slack as a chat service. This is where Slack radically differs from everything I’ve tried before: it’s not just a chat room with a bunch of integrations – it’s a whole layer of services, commands, file management, search, and collaboration that is primarily advertised as a communication tool.

It makes sense, then, to properly support rich notifications as extensions for Slack: because users are spending hours in Slack anyway, services like Nuzzel can support native device push notifications (individual) and Slack notifications (shared), allowing multiple people to receive the same notification and coordinate accordingly (inside Slack, of course).

I’ve set up Nuzzel integration today (on the website), and, if my understanding is correct, I can expect my Twitter alerts powered by Nuzzel (and years of carefully curating my following list) to be available to other team members through Slack notifications. I have a feeling this is going to be a pretty great addition to our Slack setup, and I fully expect more web services to start supporting Slack notifications as a feature soon.

Unlock MacStories Extras

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it’s also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’ll also give you access to advanced iOS shortcuts, tips and tricks, and lots more.

Starting at $5/month, with an annual option available.

Join the Club.

A Club MacStories membership includes:

  • MacStories Weekly newsletter, delivered every week on Friday with app collections, tips, iOS workflows, and more;
  • MacStories Unplugged podcast, published monthly with discussions on what we’re working on and more;
  • Monthly Log newsletter, delivered once every month with behind-the-scenes stories, app notes, personal journals, and more;
  • Access to occasional giveaways, discounts, and free downloads.