Slack, the red-hot $2.8 billion startup, wants to go beyond messaging — and its latest hire gives a clue to where the business messaging app might be headed.
On Tuesday, former Foursquare SVP of product Noah Weiss wrote in a blog post that he’s joining Slack to lead its new Search, Learning, and Intelligence group. The new group will work on a product that builds data analytics features on top of Slack, while opening up the company’s first New York office, too.
“Slack is well on its way to building the new business operating system. Weaving in an intelligent layer is a huge opportunity to enhance the product for people who use Slack and the platform for developers who build on top of it,” Weiss wrote on Medium.
Weiss didn’t get into the specifics but shared some possible ideas that the new group might get to work on. That includes alerting people with relevant messages based on their chat histories, helping people connect with experts, and improving the existing search feature for companies that have huge amounts of chat data.
“The focus is on building features that make Slack better the bigger a company is and the more it uses Slack. The success of the group will be measured in how much more productive, informed, and collaborative Slack users get — whether a company has 10, 100, or 10,000 people,” Weiss wrote.
It’s a smart move given Slack already has 2 million daily active users that generate tons of new data every day. But it’s also an extension of Slack’s plan to make its app a broader platform for everyday workers.
Last month, Slack launched a new app store where users could download apps specifically built for use on the Slack app. The news came with the announcement to launch its own $80 mililon VC fund designed to back startups building apps on top of Slack.