The week after Mattermost announces Markdown support, Slack announces same feature

This is probably a coincidence, but after Mattermost announced markdown support last week, Slack announced the same feature yesterday.

Markdown is an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format that can optionally be converted to HTML, which is commonly used in the open source community for documentation.

Last Thursday, Mattermost wrote a blog post on creating richly formatted posts with headings, lists, code blocks, tables and a board range of font formatting.

A markdown help file, written in markdown, sent in a Mattermost message

Yesterday, Slack announced the same thing.

Again, it’s almost certainly coincidence. Also, it’s likely Slack had the idea long before Mattermost–because it wasn’t our idea.

Two months ago, markdown support in Mattermost started as a community feature idea that amassed dozens of votes (though given their size, Slack probably heard the same idea hundreds of times by now…).

What’s striking here is the power of open source software to respond to community feedback.

A small group of people openly contributing ideas and energy can build faster than a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of funding.

It’s an amazing feeling to work with smart, like-minded individuals from around the world to improve a product that we use every day.

Want that feeling?

Get involved with the Mattermost open source project at

PS: Yes, we’re currently accepting pull requests to update Mattermost’s Slack import feature to support Slack’s newly announced markdown support.


Ian Tien is CEO and co-founder of Mattermost, Inc., an open source platform for secure collaboration across the entire software development lifecycle. Hundreds of thousands of developers around the globe trust Mattermost to increase their productivity by bringing together team communication, task and project management, and workflow orchestration into a unified platform for agile software development.