Trello starts waving AI around as collab outfit hits 50 million registrations

Just don't ask how many actually use it

Atlassian-owned list-maker Trello is in celebratory mood as it trumpets the 50 millionth user registration as well as the advent of more templates, automation and the dead hand of AI.

It's quite a jump from the 19 million registered users a spokesperson told us the platform had at the time of its 2017 purcahse by Atlassian.

Trello's head of product management, Justin Gallagher, told The Register the goal is to reach 100 million users but, like the aforementioned spokesperson, would not be drawn on how many active users that entailed, and how many had signed up and then run for the hills at the first sight of a Kanban-esque board.

Back when the company claimed 14 million sign-ups in 2016, it said 1.1 million were daily active users. Converting more of those registrations into paying subscribers is therefore a priority.

It looks like you're trying to set up a new board. Do you want some help with that?

To ward off "the anxiety of getting new projects started", the company is flinging open the doors on a Community Template Gallery to kick off the collaboration goodness, with examples from organisations as diverse The Telegraph, DropBox and Survey Monkey, as well as the wider community of Trello users.

Pay Atlassian some money, and Business Class and Enterprise users get access to their own private team-created templates as well as the freebie community versions.

Trello is also making the Butler automation tool – acquired by the company at the end of last year and originally implemented as a Power-Up – part of the core line-up. The tool has become an essential part of the Trello toolkit over the years so board jockeys will welcome not having to sacrifice a Power-Up in order to use the thing.

Oh good - some machine learning algos...

Butler aside, users will also find the system proffering suggestions based on their usage of the platform. Machine-learning algorithms will keep an eye on activity and fling suggested actions at customers, such as adding checklists that are often copied, frequently added members and so on.

If you find the concept a little creepy, Gallagher said: "If somebody does not want the suggestions for some reason, they can be turned off."

He went on to reassure those concerned about the slurping habits of some other tech giants: "It's not something that anybody on our team or any person is looking at. It's simply this algorithmic event-based thing."

Clippy, it would seem, has a new card-based chum.

The final 50 million-registration gift box comes from the spiritual home of the sticky-note, 3M and its Post-it app, which will transfer a wall festooned with the things into Trello via digital picture.

And pricing changes? "We're not planning that right now," said Gallagher, although he did point out that usage limits, such as those within Butler, could "pop you into the paid tier" if you got a bit too enthusiastic. ®

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