Introducing the Drift Platform

When we launched Drift back in 2016, we were a messaging tool, plain and simple. But as we talked to the marketers and salespeople using our product day after day, week after week, month after month, and incorporated their feedback into the product, Drift began to evolve.

Today, what started out as a messaging tool has become the world’s first conversational marketing and sales platform.

And we’re pumped to announce that with the launch of our developer platform, now everyone can build on top of Drift.

As of today, Drift is an open platform.

We’re opening our doors and rolling out new tools for developers to build amazing apps and integrations for our customers. These will be the solutions that power the next wave of marketing and sales.

And while the platform is brand new, the decision was one we made in the early days of the company: We’ve always wanted Drift to be an open platform.

^ we’re in the #1 spot on Product Hunt right now if you want to come say hello.

That’s because we’re focused on changing the way that people buy from businesses, and we know this change won’t happen overnight — and that we can’t do it alone. So we wanted to build a platform that anyone could build on top of, and that allows conversations to flow in and out (versus having all the data locked up in our system).

For the first time ever, developers will be able to build apps and integrations based on the words that prospects and customers are actually using in real-time — not just on past behaviors or events like emails or page views.

This is the first platform built on the real-time voice of the customer.

At Drift, customers always come first. And we strongly believe that opening up our platform will give our customers even more opportunities to succeed.

Keep reading for a closer look at what the launch of the Drift Platform means for Drift customers. In a hurry? Check out the SlideShare version below:

Everything You Need For Sales & Marketing, All in One Place

If you use Slack (like we do at Drift), you know that they offer a host of third-party tools and integrations for making the collaboration experience better.

For example, we use the “/zoom” command all the time to launch Zoom meetings right from within Slack.

With the Drift Platform, you can now do the same thing inside of Drift — only instead of using those slash (/) commands to improve collaboration, you can use them to improve the conversations you’re having with leads and customers.

For example, our engineers recently built a translation bot (code name: Babel Bot)  on top of the Drift Platform using the Google Cloud Translation API.

So now if someone lands on your site and starts a conversation in a different language, you can use a simple “/translate” command in Drift to translate what they’re saying and to translate your response back into their language.

And that’s only the beginning.

With the Drift Platform, Drift customers can now build exactly what they need to fit their company’s marketing and sales strategy, whether that’s setting up rules and logic to match their internal workflows, or creating internal commands to make life easier (just like you can do in Slack).

Let’s take a closer look at what you can build….

What Can You Build on the Drift Platform?

1) Bots

Conversations are at the core of what we’re building here at Drift. And we discovered early on that AI and bots aren’t here to replace conversations, they’re here to help you make conversations with leads and customers even better.

Now, anyone can build a bot to assist them in a Drift conversation.

For example, in addition to building a translation bot, our engineers recently set out to build a bot that could solve an even bigger, more important problem that has been plaguing Drift…

The lack of GIFs.

Using Giphy’s API, our engineers built a bot that lets you insert GIFs directly into Drift conversations via the “/giphy” command.

But just a quick word of warning: Use your GIFs wisely. While they can help you add an element of fun to your conversations, you don’t want them to interfere with the overall quality of the conversations leads and customers are having with you.

That being said, please enjoy this GIF of our product manager Matt playing ping pong…by himself…in a shark costume.

2) Integrations

At Drift, we’ve always offered integrations with some of the world’s top marketing and sales applications.

But here’s the thing:

Traditionally, customers have had to wait around for us to build these integrations. Now, with the launch of the Drift Platform, anyone who serves salespeople and marketers can build integrations with Drift that allow you to send, receive, update, and/or delete contact information.

That includes all 5,000+ companies in the marketing technology space. All of those companies can now build integrations with Drift.

3) Reporting and Analytics

We get it: the way we measure performance isn’t always going to line up with the way your team measures performance.

Now, with the Drift Platform, customers can build reporting and analytics that don’t come out of the box with Drift. More specifically, you can get data around your team’s conversations and contacts, and track only those metrics that matter to your business.

The Drift App Directory

For customers, the Drift Platform makes it easy to add additional functionality to Drift, and to integrate with your favorite apps.

For potential partners, the platform offers the opportunity to get your app in front of the 50,000+ businesses using Drift via our new App Directory.

When a developer builds and submits an app in the Drift Platform, it gets reviewed and added to the App Directory — where Drift customers can then discover and use it.

If you’re thinking about building an app and submitting to the directory, here’s something to help get you motivated:

For the first 10 partners that build on top of Drift, our marketing team will be your marketing team. We’ll help you launch and promote your new bot or integration, throwing the full power of the Drift marketing team behind it. ⚡

So, what will you build?

We can’t wait to see what everyone builds on top of Drift.

So to all you marketers and salespeople out there, tell your developers that the Drift platform is officially open.

We’d love to hear your ideas and get building — right now.

Seriously, let’s go! And remember: our first 10 partners will get the royal treatment when they launch.

Learn more about what your company can build with Drift.