HipChat, the workplace chat app that held the throne before Slack was Slack, is being discontinued. Also being discontinued is Atlassian’s own would-be HipChat replacement, Stride.
News of the discontinuation comes first not from Atlassian, but instead from a somewhat surprising source: Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield. In a series of tweets, Butterfield says that Slack is purchasing the IP to “better support those users who choose to migrate” to its platform.
Butterfield also notes that Atlassian will be making a “small but symbolically important investment” — likely a good move, given that rumors of a Slack IPO have been swirling (though Butterfield says it won’t happen this year). Getting a pre-IPO investment into Slack might end up paying off for Atlassian better than trying to continue competing.
Atlassian VP of Product Management, Joff Redfern, confirmed the news in a blog post, calling it the “best way forward” for its existing customers. It’s about as real of an example of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” as you can get; even Atlassian’s own employees will be moved over to using Slack.
According to an FAQ about the change, Stride and HipChat’s last day will be February 15th, 2019 — or a bit shy of seven months from the date of the announcement. So if you’re a customer on either one of those platforms, you’ve got time to figure things out.
It doesn’t sound like any of Atlassian’s other products will be affected here; Bitbucket, Jira, etc. will carry on, with only the company’s real-time communications platforms being shuttered.