51 of the best release notes examples (plus 11 free templates)

Blake Thorne
|
May 12, 2022

Product release notes are kind of our thing here at LaunchNotes. We’re connoisseurs of product comms. Call it weird, but it’s what we do. We’ve read (and written) a lot of release notes over the years. And we wanted to share some examples of the best we’ve seen.

For even more tips on writing release notes, check out our release notes best practices guide.

What are release notes?

Release notes are the published updates that detail recent changes to a software product. Release notes can cover anything from new updates and feature launches, to regular improvements and enhancements, to bug fixes of every kind. Release notes have been, and continue to be, the standard vehicle for delivering this crucial information to users, customers, and stakeholders.

Release notes are considered a need-to-have component of any software product and have proven themselves to be one of the most powerful levers a business has to keep their users happy and engaged.

Release note templates

Our team at LaunchNotes has over five decades combined experience bringing software projects to market and running release comms. The below templates are straight from our own template library. They’re the product of our many years of experience as well as our work with hundreds of product and development teams to make LaunchNotes the best platform for product change communicators.

These templates are built natively into LaunchNotes, so our customers can start using them right away. We’ve also made them available to anyone else, completely free to use. Check out the full library or keep on reading to skip to a specific template.

  • The OG: This template represents the most common format of release notes across the internet.
  • Weekly Recap: The Weekly Recap is great for disciplined, high velocity teams that want or need to be consistently engaging with their customers.
  • Monthly Roundup: The Monthly Roundup is perfect for teams who are interested in publishing a single summary of everything that’s recently shipped, but who aren’t ready to commit to publishing updates on a weekly cadence.
  • Quarterly Digest: Prior to the days of CI/CD, when software teams often only shipped new updates one or twice a month, a quarterly update was considered the standard communicating cadence for software change. Today it’s still popular with larger enterprise companies or B2B companies that only make updates on a predefined cadence.
  • Tier 1 Release: Tier 1 releases support the most significant updates and changes to your product.
  • Tier 2 Release: Tier 2 improvements are things your current customers are going to get most excited about (and the most value out of), but often don’t rise to the level of update that will get the attention of non-customers.
  • Tier 3 Release: Tier 3 improvements focus on things that are only relevant to current users, and can include changes as small as a button being moved, by design this template is short and punchy.
  • Bug Fix: Your ability to resolve bugs quickly and transparently is a key indicator of how qualified and capable your team is. A bug fix release note should answer five important questions.
  • Sneak Peek: The Sneak Peek gives users a glimpse of work that’s not quite finished and/or still in development. 
  • Follow-up: The Follow-up can cover anything from a batch of bug fixes for a new feature you just shipped, to finally doing that “polish” pass you promised you’d take care of, or simply reminding the world of something important you’re afraid they might have missed.
  • Deprecation: Deprecations are particularly tricky, as there is rarely an instance in which removing features or functionality doesn’t impact users.

Release note examples

Index

Collaboration and communication

Customer support and experience

Developer tools and analytics

Design

E-commerce and consumer

Fintech and payments

No-code & automation

Security

Sales and marketing

Airtable

What they do: Airtable provides a no-code platform for creating and sharing relational databases.

Release notes page: airtable.com/whatsnew

What we like: Using your own product to present public-facing content doesn't always work. It can be a clumsy user experience or feel like a stunt. But we’re really impressed with the way Airtable uses their app to display their release notes. It helps the audience see their product in a new way, and gets in front of the people who are already familiar with the product UI.

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Jira

What they do: Jira Software is an agile project management tool for teams.

Release notes page: confluence.atlassian.com/cloud/blog

What we like: The “rolling out” label is a nice touch here. More and more, modern software development teams push updates in phased batches rather than all at once. This means a change may be visible to one user but not another. The rolling out label helps clear up any confusion that might cause. We also think the “watch” option is nice, and gives users notifications on release updates inside the actual applications.

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CoScreen

What they do: CoScreen provides screen sharing software designed to facilitate remote collaboration.

Release notes page: updates.coscreen.co

What we like: For a product that's all about visual communication, CoScreen nails the visual side of their release notes. We're big fans of the custom banners for each release. The CoScreen team does a great job filling their notes with helpful screenshots and gifs.

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Discord

What they do: Discord builds an online chat platform for communities.

Release notes page: blog.discord.com/product-posts/home

What we like: There’s a lot to like here. Discord’s updates are written with a ton of voice and heavy dash of humor. They know their audience, and we think it works great. Also worth checking out is the technical changelog within their developer documentation at discord.com/developers/docs/change-log.

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HEY

What they do: Hey is a new kind of email service from the makers of Basecamp.

Release notes page: hey.com/new

What we like: The timeline layout on this page is a really nice touch. The updates are punchy and visual, and we expect the page design helps reinforce these good habits.

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LaunchNotes

What they do: Hey, that’s us! LaunchNotes helps your teams and your users stay ahead of upcoming product changes.

Release notes page: updates.launchnotes.io

What we like: We’re biased here, but we spend a lot of time thinking about release notes and try to always put our latest skills and thinking into our own page. And we of course use our own product for this page. Check it out sometime.

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Loom

What they do: Loom brings video messaging to the workplace.

Release notes page: new.loom.com

What we like: As a fast-growing and still young startup, Loom has great cadence of shipping features fast. We like how specific and benefit-focused these release notes are. And as a visual-product, we also love to see the complimentary screenshots.

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Mural

What they do: Mural makes a collaborative, online digital workspace tool.

Release notes page: mural.co/changelog

What we like: It’s become industry standard to lump any and all bug fixes into a generic “bug fixes” line. But we like how Mural describes each fixed bug one-by-one. It helps users better see the scope and detail of improvements to the platform and view bug fixes as important progress, not just a dull chore.

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Notion

What they do: Notion provides an all-in-one knowledge base and workspace for teams.

Release notes page: Notion.so/Whats-New

What we like: Here’s another example of a team using their own product for release notes in a really effective way. Splitting up new features and bug improvements into separate sections is a nice touch as well. And we love all the creative uses of illustrations and gifs.

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Omnify

What they do: Omnify builds a reservation system used by sports facilities, recreational clubs, and more.

Release notes page: getomnify.com/updates

What we like: If anyone said release notes are supposed to be dull, the Omnify team did not get the memo. Omnify’s page is filled with emojis, gifs, pop culture references. All while still delivering some informative and important release info. We especially love the way they celebrate their engineers in the updates.

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Reclaim

What they do: Reclaim is an intelligent calendar assistant.

Release notes page: updates.reclaim.ai

What we like: Reclaim does a great job using images and other visual elements to make updates easy to consume. They also have a great cadence of updates, which shows development momentum and creates trust with customers.

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Slack

What they do: Slack is a real-time communication platform for teams.

Release notes page: slack.com/release-notes

What we like: Slack is a massive product that reaches millions of end users across different platforms (mobile, Windows, Mac, etc.). We like the way they keep audience segmentation front-of-mind. They also do a nice job showing product momentum by quickly teasing features in development.

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Teamwork

What they do: Teamwork builds software tools for project management.

Release notes page: teamwork.com/roadmap

What we like: Blending recent updates with a product roadmap on one page is tough to pull off. We’ve definitely seen it backfire, but we’re impressed with the way Teamwork delivers this page. We also like the tabbed categories feature, which helps visitors easily navigate across the product family.

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Vowel

What they do: Vowel offers video conferencing and meeting transcription software.

Release notes page: vowel.launchnotes.io

What we like: Vowel creates excellent release updates and puts extra touches into their screenshots: including colorful, on-brand backgrounds and gifs. They've also added their roadmap to the release page, so customers can see what's coming up as well as what's shipped.

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Whereby

What they do: Whereby creates a software platform for video meetings, video conferencing, and screen sharing.

Release notes page: whereby.launchnotes.io

What we like: Whereby's release notes pages is truly "marketing grade." The clear writing, polished visuals, and playful use of emoji all come together to make an excellent page.

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Customer support and experience

Help Scout

What they do: Help Scout provides an all-in-on customer service platform.

Release notes page: helpscout.com/blog/product

What we like: Help Scout does a great job balancing larger announcement posts with monthly update roundups like this. We especially love the use of video in these updates.

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ReadMe

What they do: ReadMe creates tools for documentation and developer communities.

Release notes page: docs.readme.com/changelog

What we like: ReadMe creates documentation tools, so no surprise they know what they’re doing on their release page. The writing is direct and informative. And the icons for categorizing by update type (like fixed, improved, deprecated, added) is a great approach.

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Qualtrics

What they do: Qualtrics provides a single system of record for all experience data, helping companies manage customer, product, employee, and brand experiences on one platform.

Release notes page: qualtrics.com/product-updates

What we like: At the top of Qualtrics’ page, visitors see a compelling entryway into the community site -- to get update notifications and get more active in submitting feature ideas. We think there’s a ton of potential in tying release notes pages to your community. After all, the people most interested in your product updates are likely the same ones who could be active, valuable community members. Qualtrics also does a nice job using design to highlight which parts of their platform a change impacts.

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Developer tools and analytics

Amplitude

What they do: Amplitude is a product analytics platform.

Release notes page: amplitude.launchnotes.io

What we like: Amplitude's release notes page is one of the best designed we've seen. The custom header makes it feel on-brand and approachable. And the feedback button is a great touch, it helps turn release updates into an ongoing conversation with customers.

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Buildkite

What they do: Buildkite is a CI and build automation tool that helps developers deploy and test code.

Release notes page: buildkite.com/changelog

What we like: Rather than the traditional headline and preview text that most CMS layouts display, Buildkite’s changelog is just a list of smaller headings which link to the full announcement. This makes it easy to skim through a lot of updates at once.

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Courier

What they do: Courier provides an API for email, SMS, web, and mobile push notifications.

Release notes page: courier.launchnotes.io/

What we like: Courier's product updates do a great job leading with value and providing updates that are punchy, well-formatted, and easy to consume.

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Fastly

What they do: Fastly builds tools that help developers create faster apps and sites.

Release notes page: fastly.com/release-notes

What we like: Quarterly roundups don’t work for everyone. While we generally advocate more frequent release updates closer to the actual ship date, we think it’s a nice approach for Fastly. They’ve clearly put care into the reader experience here and have nice summaries along with longer-format detail when you click to read more. And bonus points for getting this on an RSS feed.

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GitHub

What they do: GitHub provides code hosting services that allow developers to build software for open-source and private projects in organizations.

Release notes page: github.blog/changelog

What we like: One thing we love about a release note page is the way it leaves clues into how the product and engineering team operates. It’s clear that Github developers are shipping fast, frequently and often many times a day. The design and timeline on their page suits this cadence perfectly.

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GitLab

What they do: GitLab provides a platform of software tools for developers, including CI/CD, source code management, and project management.

Release notes page: about.gitlab.com/releases/categories/releases

What we like: GitLab wins our most organized release notes award. The numeric versioning schema can feel dated for a lot of products (especially in SaaS, where updates can be shipped straight to customers in real-time), but for a product with this much complexity we think it works really well here.

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Heap

What they do: Heap provides a new approach to capturing and taking action on product analytics.

Release notes page: heap.io/blog/product-updates

What we like: Heap’s entire website is exciting and bold, and their release pages are no exception. We like the fun copy and brand tone showing up inside some really informative writing.

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Linear

What they do: Linear builds issue and bug tracking tools.

Release notes page: linear.app/changelogsys

What we like: As long as it’s relevant, release notes can be a great place to promote other product content that’s available. Linear does that really well here. By the way, their weekly changelog on Twitter is another slice of great inspiration.

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New Relic

What they do: New Relic is a digital intelligence company that delivers visibility and analytics solutions.

Release notes page: docs.newrelic.com/docs/release-notes

What we like: This is another great example of a page that doesn’t get messy just because the company has a big portfolio of products and operating platforms available. We love the design and navigation sidebar. And it’s really nice that the actual release notes copy is always quick and straight to the point.

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Pieces

What they do: Pieces makes AI Assistant software for code snippets and screenshots.

Release notes page: updates.pieces.app

What we like: Pieces folds excellent, marketing-grade branding and design into their LaunchNotes page. By including the feedback tool, they can solicit user feedback and close the communication loop.

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Postmark

What they do: Postmark helps developers add email delivery functionality to their apps.

Release notes page: postmarkapp.com/updates

What we like: This is one of the better approaches to categorization that we’ve seen. The categories are descriptive and very visible without taking control of the whole page. Adding a “company” updates section is a nice touch, too. Often bigger updates that aren’t strictly changes to the core app (like pricing changes, new documentation) get ignored in a release notes page. It’s good to see a team who realizes that doesn’t need to be the case.

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Segment

What they do: Segment (recently acquired by Twilio), provides customer data infrastructure software.

Release notes page: segment.com/docs/release-notes/

What we like: Segment is well known in the developer and data science community for their great documentation. Their release notes are no different. The consistent use of categories and tags makes for clean organization and readability.

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Snyk

What they do: Snyk is an application security provider for developers.

Release notes page: updates.snyk.io

What we like: We can’t overstate just how much of an opportunity release notes are to build some personality and human-connection with your overall company. Even little touches like adding a byline with a photo like Snyk does can help make that a reality.

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Stytch

What they do: Stytch is an API-first passwordless authentication startup.

Release notes page: stytch.launchnotes.io

What we like: The Stytch team packs a lot of info and value into short, well-formatted updates. We love the rapid cadence of releases, as well as the release feedback feature, which helps them learn how updates are resonating with users.

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Twilio

What they do: Twilio helps developers use APIs and software to build functionality like SMS messaging, telephone calls and more into their products.

Release notes page: twilio.com/changelog

What we like: Twilio uses categorization, links, and visual cues like icons to pack a broad portfolio of product offerings into one updates page.

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Design

Miro

What they do: Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard platform.

Release notes page: miro.com/changelog

What we like: With such a well-designed and visual product, it’s no surprise Miro’s product updates page is this delightful. And it’s a lot more than just easy on the eyes. We love the weekly updates cadence, as well as the two column approach — one for the main thing they’re introducing that week, the other for “bug fixes and other updates.” The Miro team also does a great job teasing out and building suspense for “coming soon” updates.

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Figma

What they do: Figma is a collaborative visual design tool.

Release notes page: figmareleases.blogspot.com

What we like: They say good design is as much about what you leave out as what you put in. The notes you don’t play, as it were. Figma’s page is direct, clean, and to the point. And it looks to be hosted using Blogspot, which is definitely an off-beat choice. Another observation: Figma’s making some of the best product gifs we’ve seen.

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E-commerce and consumer

Medium

What they do: Medium is an online publishing platform.

Release notes page: medium.com/medium-release-notes

What we like: If any company is famous for their release notes, it’s Medium. A few years ago they pioneered a Gonzo, let’s-just-have-fun-with-this style that — while admittedly isn’t for everybody — certainly got them attention (and plenty of imitators). They even got a finger-wagging from Techcrunch and a writeup from the Verge out of it. These days, their updates are a little more sober. But you can still see plenty of that playful spirit in many of their release notes.

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Shopify API

What they do: Shopify's API solutions provide the tools for developers to build atop its popular e-commerce platform.

Release notes page: shopify.dev/changelog

What we like: This release notes page is for Shopify’s API and developer platform. Too often developers are left out when it comes to delivering a documentation page with really great user experience. We love the way visitors can filter by category. The option to only show posts that require action is a very nice touch.

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Shopify

What they do: Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.

Release notes page: changelog.shopify.com

What we like: Shopify is another company with a really robust platform. We love the timeline view, the great use of tags for filtering, and the quick, punchy, almost daily updates.

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Fintech and payments

MX

What they do: MX Technologies is a fintech company that helps connect people with their financial data.

Release notes page: mx.com/product-updates

What we like: We wanted to call out the email subscription form for MX’s product updates. Because this is one of the more robust versions of this we’ve seen, given all the segmentation options the user has. It’s a smart way to be sure customers are getting the right updates, and actually getting value out of your update emails.

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Stripe

What they do: Stripe builds payment processing software and APIs allowing anyone to collect payments over the internet.

Release notes page: stripe.com/blog/changelog

What we like: Stripe is showing off some of the better release note writing we’ve seen. Getting info across in a shorter message is ofter way harder than doing it in a meandering wall of text. Kudos to Stripe for nailing the brevity here. Plus the design on this page gets an A+.

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Unit

What they do: Unit is a banking-as-a-service platform that lets developers embed powerful financial features into their product.

Release notes page: updates.unit.co

What we like: Unit's page is well-designed, extremely consistent, and takes advantage of putting their roadmap right alongside their release updates.

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No-code & automation

UiPath

What they do: UiPath provides Robotic Process Automation software.

Release notes page: docs.uipath.com/releasenotes

What we like: A lot of companies get larger and give up on a well-organized hub for release updates. Or keeping it all tidy just falls through the cracks and release notes become fragmented. We’re really impressed with the way UiPath keeps everything under one roof on this page, while still managing to give dedicated space for all the different products and audiences their company has.

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Webflow

What they do: Webflow is a design platform, CMS, and hosting provider for building production websites and prototypes.

Release notes page: webflow.com/updates

What we like: Webflow showcases the power of their own tool with this page, which was designed in Webflow. We especially like the way they’re including related resources links at the bottom of each page.

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Zapier

What they do: Zapier helps you connect and automate actions on many apps.

Release notes page: zapier.com/blog/updates

What we like: Doesn’t it feel like every product under the sun works with Zapier? That means a ton of potential for product updates. But with that comes a lot of potential for announcement fatigue as well. We love the approachable design and organization on this page. We also like the email CTA on the right side of the page.

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Security


1Password

What they do: 1Password is a password manager and digital vault for securing sensitive information.

Release notes page: app-updates.agilebits.com

What we like: Customers are asked to put a ton of trust into the team building 1Password. Being able to show organized, consistent, and detailed product improvements only helps extend that trust. We love the way the team segments different pages for all the possible application platforms. They even provide reference numbers for the release builds and for each update. That might feel over-the-top for a lot of teams, but we can see it being a huge help especially if customers need to quickly reference something.

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Okta

What they do: Okta is an identity platform offering products like single sign-on and multi-factor authentication.

Release notes page: help.okta.com/en/prod/Content/Topics/ReleaseNotes/okta-relnotes.htm

What we like: Okta’s team is really on the ball with their release page. Great use of special sections like “Early Access Features” and “Preview Features.” Plus the weekly and monthly organization makes finding recent deployment info really straightforward.

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Sales and marketing

Correlated

What they do: Correlated builds software to help revenue teams unlock self-serve conversions, expansion revenue, and cross-sell opportunities.

Release notes page: correlated.launchnotes.io

What we like: Correlated makes great use of categories for audience segmentation and page organization. They also pack a lot of info into fast, easy-to-read updates.

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Drift

What they do: Drift provides a conversational marketing and sales platform.

Release notes page: gethelp.drift.com/s/topic/0TO4w000000gGsXGAU/release-notes

What we like: The page is really well organized, and the updates are short and sweet. We love the weekly cadence for updates and the way the team reminds readers that a company motto is “always be shipping.” Organizing updates into “what, why, where, and who” is especially helpful and keeps the updates focused. We’re also impressed by the “All Aboard” video series.

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Hopin

What they do: Hopin creates an event hosting platform for virtual, in-person, and hybrid events.

Release notes page: new.hopin.com

What we like:  Hopin is one of the fastest-growing startups out there, and their overall company brand reflects this status. The Hopin team does a nice job delivering a LaunchNotes page that matches the look and feel of their overall marketing site. The feedback collection tool is another nice touch.

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Intercom

What they do: Intercom provides a conversational relationship platform to help teams manage the relationships with their customers.

Release notes page: intercom.com/changes

What we like: We’re huge fans of this Intercom page. First off, the design and visuals are stunning. The categorization and search features work really well. Finally, giving credit to the people behind the features, with names and photos, is a great addition.

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Mailchimp

What they do: Mailchimp provides an all-in-one marketing platform.

Release notes page: mailchimp.com/developer/release-notes/

What we like: We’re really impressed by the way Mailchimp’s development platform team makes “action required” a key concept and tag on their page. It’s a smart approach and helps developers quickly find the “need to know” updates.

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How LaunchNotes can help you create amazing release notes

Wow you made it all the way down here? You must really like release notes. You'r our kind of people, and probably a good candidate for LaunchNotes.

LaunchNotes is the easy way to securely connect various audience(s) with the product development lifecycle in a personalized and automated way.

LaunchNotes helps your customer-facing teams communicate better by centralizing all product change into a dedicated channel. It also allows teams share release notes with targeted audiences and even collect, synthesize, and share customer feedback.

Try LaunchNotes free, or schedule a demo, today!

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