The rise of building on messaging platforms and who's doing it | Userfeed (2023)

The rise of building on messaging platforms and who's doing it | Userfeed (1)

A couple weeks ago, Ryan Hover (Founder @ Product hunt) wrote a popular post on the rise of no code products. His thesis was that these tools will decrease the time and cost to build new products by 10x in the coming years. He's probably right, but there's another trend that's also cutting down the time to market for new SaaS business as well. That is, the rise of SaaS products being built on top messaging platforms. I don't mean simple integrations, but rather platform-first products being built on both internal and external messaging tools.

Messaging platforms changing the business landscape

For the past 5-10 years, messaging tools have taken over how we communicate with people in our lives (WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), and more recently, in business. In business, there are two categories of messaging platforms:

  1. Internal collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, gchat, etc.
  2. External engagement: Intercom, Drift, Hubspot, Zendesk, etc.

Big or small, chances are your company uses one or more of these tools everyday. Not only do you use these tools, but you likely spend the majority of your day in them. Additionally, these tools contain valuable internal knowledge and/or customer data thats core to the business. It's these reasons, along with speed/cost to market and customer discoverability, that building on these platforms has become an intriguing alternative to building from scratch.

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Internal Messaging platforms

The rise of building on messaging platforms and who's doing it | Userfeed (2)

Slack is likely the fastest growing SaaS product in history. Over the last five years, it managed to eclipse almost every major competitor in the internal collaboration space on its way to 8 million daily active users and 3 million paid users. Slack is popular because it facilitates communication in the workplace, helps teams communicate/collaborate across remote distances and time, enables and encourages the sharing of documents/images/knowledge across teams, and its API allows for key data to flow in and out from other company SaaS tools.

These are also the same reasons companies are deciding to build Slack-first products. Here are some of the more interesting products built on Slack and other internal messaging platforms:

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  • Eletype: a real-time digital assistant designed for search and social media marketing campaigns.Digital Marketing Monitoring to help you cover your ads.
  • Troops: integration platform between Salesforce & Slack. Automate key workflows, eliminate busy work, and deliver insights to make work easier, all within Slack.
  • Donut: Create an automated coffee or lunch roulette program instantly for your Slack team.
  • Disco: makes it easy to celebrate your company culture and values, all in the messaging tools you already use (Slack & Microsoft Teams).
  • Abacus: Now you can manage your expenses without leaving Slack!
  • Polly: A Slack polling solution built for everyone in your organization
  • Standuply: Digital Scrum Master for Slack. Run asynchronous standup meetings via text, voice/video and track team performance.
  • Teamline: The simple project management tool for Slack. Turn conversations into actions at the click of a button – create, assign and manage tasks in Slack.

Slack has even go so far to start a fund, of which the portfolio consists mostly of products built 100% on Slack.

External messaging platforms

Live chat and bots have changed the way sales, marketing, and support engage with their customers. Intercom, Zendesk, Drift, Facebook Messenger and others are some of the fastest growing SaaS products out there. You've likely seen them on most websites that provide a service:

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The rise of building on messaging platforms and who's doing it | Userfeed (3)

These platforms empower companies to engage with their users in a conversational format when they're online and offline. They also store powerful user behavior data and attributes similar to a CRM. This data, combined with powerful segmenting, triggers, and messaging capabilities, makes these platforms an interesting starting point for building a product. Here's a few gaining some steam in the market:

  • Userfeed: Build the right products and grow your business using Intercom data and conversations. We're biased, but we think this one's pretty cool 😎
  • Octane AI: enables Shopify merchants to increase revenue with a Facebook Messenger bot that customers love. Quick note: Shopify is has an incredible app marketplace with hundreds of apps built on top of the platform.
  • Greyscale labs: Conversation-driven recruiting solutions for capturing leads & nurturing relationships. Engage with talent across all messaging channels (SMS, LinkedIn, chatbot, etc.).
  • BubbleIQ: Slack-First Ticketing for Support and IT help desks (connects with Zendesk or Salesforce Service Cloud to handle tickets through Slack).
  • Statbot: Analytics for Intercom.
  • Qualitista: Conversation review tool for Intercom, Zendesk, HelpScout, etc.

What's next?

Messaging apps aren't going away anytime soon. The more time that's spent in these platforms the more they will become the central UI and data hubs that other SaaS products will be built upon. We will end up spending less time jumping between a bunch of apps/tabs and more time completing tasks and taking actions in the messenger platform UIs.

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What else? What other tools am I missing here?

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What is the purpose of a messaging platform? ›

A messaging platform is a type of customer experience software that equips developers or admins with tools to build interactive messaging experiences.

What are the messaging platform? ›

Messaging Platform means any third-party or Customer platform or communication service that may be used by Chat Participants to transmit and receive messages with Customer's Clients, including but not limited to SMS, RCS, email, chat applications, voice assistants, VOIP services, and other platforms or services that ...

What is the importance of business messaging? ›

Business messaging is the way brands initiate and respond to customers over various messaging channels. It empowers customers to reach out to brands and brands to reach out to customers—the channels allow for back-and-forth, two-way conversations rather than messaging blasts, such as advertisements or bulk email sends.

What is the history of messaging apps? ›

Believe it or not, chat apps actually date back to the 1980s, when Compuserve released CB Simulator, the first dedicated online chat service that was widely available to the public. The first SMS was launched by Vodafone GSM in 1992, then throughout the mid to late 90s, messenger and chat rooms such as MSN and Yahoo!

What are the 3 major purposes of the message? ›

There are three purposes for a message: inform, persuade or goodwill.

Why is messaging important in communication? ›

The process of communication begins when the sender or person with whom the communication originates has a message. The message is the information that is being passed on during the communication process. The message connects the sender to the receiver.

What are 3 types of messaging systems? ›

6 common types of mobile messages explained
  • Short message service (SMS) SMS is one of the most common forms of mobile messaging. ...
  • Multimedia messaging service (MMS) ...
  • Instant messaging (via the internet) ...
  • Push notifications. ...
  • In-app messages. ...
  • Rich Communication Services (RCS)
Sep 8, 2022

What is the most popular messaging system? ›

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are most-used messaging platforms in 2021.

What are the two types of messaging? ›

SMS & MMS Messaging

Often referred to just as “texting,” SMS and MMS are the communication protocols that make it possible to send texts over cellular networks.

What are the two important messaging concepts? ›

The message contains two main parts named as header and the message body. The header contains the metadata of the message such as sender details, destination details and etc. The message body contains the application data which is used by the destination point program.

What is the importance of message development? ›

Why Is Message Development Important? Messages are key in providing consistency to the communication response. This is particularly important during an emergency, when fear and anxiety can breed rumors and affect the ways in which people respond.

What are the keys to effective messaging? ›

Relevant: Balance what you need to communicate with what your audience needs to know. Compelling: Design meaningful information to stimulate action. Simple: Use easy-to-understand language; avoid jargon and acronyms. Memorable: Ensure that messages are easy to recall and repeat; avoid long, run-on sentences.

How has text messaging evolved over recent years? ›

Earlier, text messages only meant alphabetical texting and nothing more. It later evolved to emojis and stickers. And now, it has grown so much more advanced and modern functionalities including Hyperlink Tracking, iText, Campaigns, etc.

What was the first messaging platform? ›

CompuServe's CB Simulator, released in 1980, is generally recognized as the first dedicated online chat service; it required users to pay monthly fees for membership.

What company developed instant messaging first? ›

The first such general-availability commercial online chat service (as opposed to PLATO, which was educational) was the CompuServe CB Simulator in 1980, created by CompuServe executive Alexander "Sandy" Trevor in Columbus, Ohio. As networks developed, the protocols spread with the networks.

What is the most important part of a message? ›

When it comes to communication, nothing is more important than the headline (or, in email, the subject line). Article continues after video. The headline is the first thing audience members notice. It grabs their attention.

Who is the target of the message? ›

In media, the target audience refers to the person or group for whom a message is created. Some messages, like personal email or thank-you notes, target just one person. Others are meant for larger audiences.

What are the 4 elements of an effective message? ›

There are four specific elements of effective communication, which are as follows: practical, factual, concise and clear, and persuasive. All four of the elements are part of a good message.

What is a platform and why is it important? ›

Platforms create networks (versus products or services). They are ecosystems that enable and support the exchange of information, content, or products between two interdependent groups, typically producers and consumers.

Why is communication platform important? ›

The Importance of Communication Platforms

Communication platforms allow organizations to incorporate real-time communication capabilities, such as voice, video and messaging, to business applications for meaningful interactions with customers. While products can be goods or services, platforms are access gateways.


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