Slack launches Block Kit to make it easier to build apps

Slack today made its Block Kit tool for building more visually appealing apps generally available. The Slack App Directory currently has more than 1,500 apps, and the Slack Platform for the creation of apps and automated bots dates back to 2015.

The company also introduced Block Kit Builder for designing apps and testing app prototypes.

Block Kit and Block Kit Builder were created to make it easier to design apps and deliver a more consistent user experience. With that in mind, Block Kit launches with five basic blocks, including Image for image containers and Actions to add interactive elements, like buttons and six types of drop-down menus.

There’s also a text container block called `Section`, a ‘Context’ container for descriptive metadata, and ‘Divider’ to make space between blocks.

Examples of apps built with Block Kit include Doodle for scheduling and Guru for saving an organization’s collective knowledge.

Block Kit was first released in preview in May 2018 at Slack developer conference Spec.

“Besides these blocks themselves, the other thing that this provides is flexibility in terms of vertical control: You decide how you want to stack components, how you want to place them on the page, and what order makes the most sense for your app and user base,” said Slack Platform general manager Brian Elliott last year at Spec.

More interactive elements, display types, app installation within Slack, and many other near- and long-term plans are laid out in the Slack Platform Roadmap for Developers, a Trello board you can view online.

More than 90 percent of Slack’s 10 million daily active users utilize at least one app, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Last month, Slack filed paperwork to launch an initial public offering later this year.

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