Yeah, it is confusing.
Why does Slack support slash commands and bot commands?
Great question, we hope this helps.
Slack has its origins in the software development and IT engineering spaces. As a result, the interface for interacting with the first generation of Slack apps was via slash commands.
Slash commands look and behave much like Unix or DOS command prompts which, knowing the target audience, is rather intuitive.
But for the rest of Slack's rapidly growing non-IT user base it can seem confusing.
Slash commands work like this:
/[name of the app] [command] [parameters]
Try out: /eletype help or /eletype settings
They are pretty simple, but archachic and technical.
More recently Slack has supported bot commands which, rather than taking in a fixed set of commands and parameters, function more like a chat and take entire string of text to process as a command.
And rather than using the "/" you simply tag the app using the "@" just like you would tag a team member.
Try out: @eletype I need help or @eletype I want to change my settings
This method of interacting with the app feels a little more natural to non-technical users, but can be more difficult to define and document since we can process many different permutations of commands.
Example: @eletype can you help me? or @eletype where are the settings?
So far so good?
Well, let's add a 3rd way to interact with the app.
Go to the new App Home page and click on the Messages Tab like this 👇
From this interface you don't need the "@eletype", you can just ask a question like or ask for something.
Try out: "I need help" or "How are my campaigns doing?"
We suspect that Slack will slowly consolidate these different interfaces for commands, but for now, yeah, it is confusing.
Let us know if you have feedback, let us know like this:
- /eletype feedback
- @eletype i have feedback
- or go to the App Home page and type "I have feedback"