Does the e-mail killer have hunters of its own? Yes, it does!
Slack revolutionized business communications and team collaborations, keeping it formal and making it quick. With each passing year- since its incorporation in 2014- Slack has been getting bigger, better, and faster, and is now rated as the best team chat app by many- including us!
A brief history of Slack– A failed video game called ‘Game Neverending’ started the whole process. First named as Flickr, then Glitch, and finally Slack. Both Flickr and Glitch went in completely different directions, while Slack became the best business chat software.
Now, Slack offers business management solutions, free and paid versions for individual users, small teams, as well as full-scale enterprise packages.
With the rise of Slack, plenty of other tech companies launched their own group communication apps. Instant messaging apps like Hangouts and Troop Messenger also made the switch, albeit not a very successful one. The number of Slack competitors is increasing day by day, and it’s hard to keep count now.
That’s why we bring you the top 6 Slack alternatives. These include free and paid communications suites giving Slack a run for its money- unless you’re on the free plan.
6 Best Slack Alternatives – First-Hand Reviewed
1. Microsoft Teams
A Much-Improved Microsoft Teams- The Best Slack Alternative!
Slack has reigned as the best team messaging app for quite some time, but Microsoft Teams has proven to be a worthy challenger. The seamless communications, unlimited app integration, and slightly lower charges helped Microsoft Teams easily overtake Skype and Skype for Business.
Did You Know: Microsoft passed on the chance of acquiring Slack in 2016.
The most obvious reason for the success of Microsoft Teams has to be the Microsoft Office 365 integration. Whether for a small team or a multinational organization, Office 365 is the priority word processing suite. This allows organizations to create a Microsoft hub in the organization and collaborate on every aspect under one umbrella.
The Office 365 integration might be the biggest selling point, but it’s also one of its major limitations. If an organization isn’t Microsoft centralized, much of Microsoft Teams’ features are barely usable.
Then there’s the interface. As you can see in the image below, it’s a very neat and minimal interface- we would say even cleaner than Slack. It makes the whole management and communications a lot easier.
- Microsoft Viva
- Cloud storage
- Video and audio conferencing
- Team creating templates
- Separate messaging channels
- Share screen, desktop, mouse, and keyboard
Plans & Pricing
Microsoft offers three different plans for Microsoft Teams users. There’s the Free plan, Basic plan, and Business Standard.
The names pretty much sum up their targets.
- The Free plan is for individual users who only need a solid collaboration tool.
- The Business Basic plan juices up the features to handle small business communications.
- Business Standard adds more integrations and functions for communications, collaborations, turning the enterprise into a Microsoft hub.
- Both paid plans offer a 1-month free trial so if it doesn’t work out you can always opt-out without ever paying a cent.
2. Cisco Webex Teams
Cisco’s Experiment Paid Dividends- Mix Of Spark and BroadSoft
Cisco is much more than a software company; its group communication app doesn’t get as much attention as it needs. Cisco offers enterprise solutions, and then there is an extraordinary range of products too.
Cisco was doing pretty well with Spark. They weren’t on the level of Slack or Teams, but they had a decent number of active users. However, the ambition of experimentation led to something great after Cisco acquired Broadsoft, merged Spark and Broadsoft, and relaunched them as Webex.
That means the Webex app has features of a team communication app and an instant messaging app. A unique combo, but a useful one nonetheless.
There are features like Breakout Sessions, where you can divide full-scale meetings into smaller groups to have a different meeting in a different virtual room. Once done, everyone reports back to the main meeting.
Webex can also record complete video conferences and keep them secure on the cloud storage. There’s file sharing, whiteboard meetings for virtual brainstorming, and much more.
We like the clean interface and the Resources section at the bottom that helps make life easier for new users.
One off-putting thing can be the price, which is higher than the competition.
- Secure file sharing.
- Virtual events organization
- Asynchronous video
- Slack collaboration tool
- Microsoft and Google Integration
- Webex Assistant
Plans & Pricing
Cisco doesn’t disclose its prices on the website to every visitor like others. Instead, you’ll have to sign up, choose an app, and only then can you see the plans on offer and their pricing. So, we did that, and here’s what we found:
Cisco has 4 different plans for 4 different variations of Webex. First is the Basic Plan, totally free with a limited number of users and limited meeting hours. Then there’s the Meet Plan which costs $13.50/month and allows 200 attendees, Breakout sessions, video recordings, and screen sharing.
The third one is called the Meet + Call Plan, costing $25/month. This plan brings in cloud-based phone numbers and other call facilities.
Cisco also allows a tailored plan called Enterprise. The pricing and features will depend upon the size of your business and the features you choose.
Here’s a detailed graphics of all these Webex plans:
- Web App
A Bit Different But Equally Productive Slack Alternative
ProofHub is slightly different from Slack in that it’s primarily a project management tool. What that means is that the core features focus on task management rather than solely focusing on team communications.
The biggest difference is that instead of creating teams and then assigning projects, ProofHub requires you to create projects and then map out teams and communication channels. You can set managers and admins of projects, add time tracking as well as integrate Gantt.
The UI could be better in terms of navigating through tasks and accessing older files in a project channel. Sometimes you have to access older files by opening new pages and windows which can slow things down.
Similarly, switching between projects, if you’re a project manager- requires multiple clicks. Improving these minor accessibility issues will vastly improve the overall user experience too.
That said, it’s a more than decent project management and team collaboration tool for small and medium-sized businesses. But, to manage bigger projects of bigger organi\ations, LiquidPlanner is the better option.
- Multiple language support including Spanish, German, French, and more.
- Kanban boards
- Gantt charts
- Detailed reports for every ongoing and finished project
- Timesheets and Calendar
- 1-on-1 and group chats
- APIs to integrate apps
Plans & Pricing
There is one bad news here, no free plan! ProofHub does have a free trial but you will eventually have to choose one of the two paid plans. It is flat pricing though, no matter how many users you reach.
ProofHub also has a different plan for non-profit organizations. There is a 14-day free trial on offer too.
The major difference between the two plans is the absence of extra features in the Essential plan. These extra features include custom roles & workflows, API access, activity logs, data export in CSV format, and a bunch of other handy tools.
Unless you’ll be working on multiple projects at once, the Essential plan is a decent fit, although the Ultimate Control plan seems a better financial purchase.
- Web App
Simplistic Team Messaging App For Quick Communications
If you don’t like that cluster of tabs and options of Slack and many of its alternatives, Flock isn’t much different either. They have various tabs left, right, and center; and it takes a little getting used to.
They are slowly evolving the app, but the evolution has been somewhat restricted. Instead of adding tonnes of features, they’ve worked on improving the app’s performance and made it a lot simpler and easier to use.
The app has quite a number of active users, but the majority seems to have one complaint- the interface looks outdated.
Despite all that it’s one of the cheapest Slack alternatives with a lot of similar features. Secondly, Flock allows interface customization, so once you master the app, it’s up to you how it looks on your device.
Although Slack’s collaboration and communicating features are above the rest, Flock’s might be the closest. You can pin conversations, there’s the Reply function, announcements, one-on-one calls as well as video and audio conferencing. You can also share your screen for presentations or share information across the team.
There are plenty of integrated apps too. A tab that shows all the shared files in a chat, Notes, Reminders, and a lot more.
Another impressive thing is Flock’s app collaboration. You can connect Trello, Asana, Google Drive, Zendesk, and plenty of others.
- Plenty of app integration
- Apps for every major platform
- Voice notes
- Allows guest users
- Private Me channel
- Take Polls and create Reminders
Plans & Pricing
For small teams, the Free plan is more than enough.
The Pro plan costs $4.50/month. But, there is a catch- the billing is per user. So, if you are on the Pro plan and have 10 team members, be ready to dish out $45 per month. It seems high, but it’s still less than Slack’s $6.67/month/user charge.
And it has the features to match as well. Under the Pro plan, you get unlimited messages, create unlimited channels, 10GB of cloud storage per member, and group video calling.
Then there’s the Enterprise plan. Flock tailors a custom plan depending on your needs and charges you accordingly. This plan has extraordinary features like LMS, HRMS, organizational mapping, and a lot more. You also get 24*7 dedicated customer support under this plan.
- Windows app
- Mac app
- iOS app
- Android app
- Linux app
- Chrome extension
Safest Free Slack Alternative With End-To-End Encryption
The image above gives away the biggest selling point of this Slack alternative. It’s the most secure team collaboration app.
Where most apps just provide end-to-end encryption on messages, Wire takes it up a notch by encrypting everything, including video/audio calls, conference calls, and the files you share around a team channel- everything is secure. So, if security is a primary concern, you know what to do.
Another great feature of Wire is that it is an open-source messaging app with its code available on GitHub for everyone to see.
Wire is another one of those apps that started as a mobile messaging app and then evolved into a team management tool. Now, you can either use it on your mobile phone to just chat with your friends or get a paid plan, create a team, and manage your business from anywhere in the world.
Here’s how confident the people at Wire are about their E2EE. They have a special plan called Wire For Governments that provides top-level security and privacy to every single member of the team. This plan is specifically designed for government offices, NGOs, and State industries that can not afford any data breaches.
- Open-source application
- Web-client and a downloadable app
- Audio/Video conferencing
- Giphy, GitHub, Jira, and more integrations
- Virtual guest rooms
- Available on cloud, private cloud, and on-premise setup
- Screen sharing (Desktop app only)
Plans & Pricing
Wire has three different plans namely Free, Enterprise, and Government.
The Free plan only allows 5 users, offers messaging and team management features. The Enterprise plan is the real team collaboration plan. Along with cloud storage, it brings conference calls, one-on-one and group messaging, app integration, and an unlimited number of users. Then there’s Wire For Government which offers everything you need for the price they demand.
6. Workplace by Facebook
Easiest To Use Team Collaboration Tool
Mark Zuckerberg is a very ambitious person, to say the least. He isn’t content with buying out competition like Whatsapp and Instagram. Instead, he is trying to cover every side of communications and we have to say that he and the people at Facebook are doing a great job at that.
Facebook Workplace was launched way back in 2016 but gained traction only recently as a solid team collaboration tool. In February 2021, Facebook decided to discontinue the Free version and improve the services for its paid users, and that’s when Workplace appeared as a proper alternative to Slack.
Workplace by Facebook is very similar to Facebook itself. That’s another reason for its success as it flattens the learning curve. Features like Groups, Facebook Live, Chat messenger is all there but with added team collaboration features. You can create as many groups as you need, hold live conferences that everyone can join, hold Q&A sessions and polls, and so much more.
Workplace seamlessly integrates with industry-leading software like GSuite and Azure. Giant corporations like Nestle and GlaxoSmithKline use Workplace by Facebook, along with 7 million other paid users.
One feature that divides opinion is the News Feed. Just like Facebook, Workplace also has a News Feed that carries the latest news about the company. Some say it can be distracting, others say it helps with the faster flow of information.
Considering it is AI-powered and completely customizable to only show relevant news, it’s a decent addition, something that no other team collaboration tool or project management app has.
- Drag and Drop UI
- ROI calculator
- Brainstorming and discussion forums
- Live video recording
- Video and audio conferencing
- Screen sharing and presentation
- Event calendar and News Feed
Plans & Pricing
Facebook did offer a free plan for Workplace in the earlier years but it was later discontinued in 2021. It is still free for non-profit organizations, but the rest will have to pay $4 per user/month.
If there are any doubts, you can test it for 30 days for free and then pay or cancel the subscription afterward.
There was another plan called Enterprise, which was also discontinued. So, their sole focus is on one plan called the Core plan, and the features they have integrated into that show they have big plans.
Slack Collaboration Tool
Everyone knows and loves Slack as the top instant messaging and team communication app, but only the most ardent of users know about the Slack Collaboration Tool.
Slack has the best app integration in the market, which allows collaboration across the enterprise very easily. Not just within departments, but across different departments too.
That’s possible due to the vast range of tools that Slack supports. Whether you have Salesforce, Zendesk, or Jira running three different departments, you can bring all three departments under one roof using the collaboration tool from Slack for one-stop comms. Check out Slack’s app directory.
This might be the only reason Microsoft Teams falls just short in competition to Slack.
If we were to list all alternatives to Slack, you’d be here a long long time. AlternativeTo has listed around 211 apps like Slack. We went in a separate direction by choosing to list the Slack alternatives that we have tried ourselves.
We will bring reviews of more Slack competitors in the future. Let us know in the comments about which free group communication apps you use and would want us to try.
Is there something better than Slack?
We are going to go on a limb and say no. There are plenty of team communication apps with just as many features, but none of them works as conclusively as Slack. Whether it’s app integration, video/audio calls, security, or file sharing, Slack is just that much better than the rest.
Does Google have something similar to Slack?
Apps like Hangouts and Google Chat are Google’s very own instant messaging as well as team communication apps. They are similar to Slack allowing channels, instant DMs, and team collaborations; we wouldn’t call them a Slack alternative just yet.
Is Slack better than Teams?
It’s neck and neck and between two great collaboration tools. Slack has a better user interface, but Microsoft Teams is a bit cheaper and offers Microsoft 365 Integration. Slack’s helping bots make the whole setup much easier, but Microsoft Teams offer unlimited app integration.
Is Slack better than Skype?
Yes, Slack is better than Skype. We can confidently say that because of the features and smooth performance that Slack mounts are levels above Skype. One-to-one instant messages on Skype are a struggle, never mind the group communications.