There is no doubt that effective communication in the workplace improves the way team members collaborate and achieve desired goals. There are several well-known tools available in the market that can enhance team communication and thus help companies to become more productive. One such communication tool you must have heard of is Slack. It is considered to be among the best team communication platforms out there. However, there are various other communication tools that can replace Slack with their remarkable features.
In this article, we will be talking about the best Slack alternatives that you can use to strengthen communication among people within your organization or team. But before that, let’s get a brief overview of Slack and why individuals are looking for its alternatives.
What is Slack?
Slack is one of the most commonly used and popular online communication platforms that help to streamline communication among teams. It helps in bridging the communication gap between team members by eliminating lengthy and annoying email threads. Also, it facilitates fast and effective communication, and users can access Slack from anywhere. Slack is utterly suitable for teams working remotely and makes it possible for team members to collaborate seamlessly.
Slack has been one of the most amazing communication tools. But after Slack has gone public, it has diverted its focus to the enterprise customers. That is why most small-sized, as well as medium-sized businesses, are looking for Slack alternatives that can help them realize seamless communication among employees.
Various Slack Alternatives
There are various alternatives to Slack today. You can choose any of the alternatives listed ahead as per your requirements. You also need to note that some tools are even more versatile, robust, and easy to use than Slack. We have listed the Slack alternatives under the following three categories:
- Free alternatives for Slack (Hosted Solutions)
- Slack Alternatives with a Free Trial plan (Hosted Solutions)
- Open-Source alternatives for Slack (Self-Hosted Solutions)
Free Alternatives for Slack (Hosted Solutions)
Slack can also be used as a hosted solution for team collaboration. You have to sign up for Slack so that you can create your personal workspace and start collaborating with your teammates. Slack comes with a free plan that offers limited features, and thus the alternatives within this category also offer a free plan:
1. Microsoft Teams
It is Microsoft’s product offering the same basic functionalities as other Microsoft products. You can integrate it easily with the rest of the Office 360 suite, allowing you to collaborate on the files in real-time. It has a free plan for up to 300 users. It offers 2GB storage per person and 10GB in total. You will not get any features like scheduling, recording, or conferencing capabilities in the free plan. You can send unlimited messages and can use the search history facility to search for a particular message.
- Free plan.
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic at ₹ 125.00 user/month (annual commitment) and GST extra as applicable. It does not include the desktop version.
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard at ₹ 660.00 user/month (annual commitment) and GST extra as applicable
- It offers you unlimited chat messages and a search option.
- It comes with a built-in audio and video calling facility that can be used by individuals, groups, and team meetups (team size depends on different plans).
- It allows real-time content creation and comes with built-in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote support.
- It allows you to integrate more than 140 business applications that include Adobe, Evernote, and more.
Zulip is one of the open-source collaboration tools that combine real-time chat with email style threading. It helps in tracking your message history. It helps in eliminating unnecessary messages and saves your time. It comes with various features like intuitive design, unique interface, and many more. It allows various teams to collaborate together to work on a single project.
Zulip has a limitation on the message search history on its free plan, which is up to. 10,000 messages. It has a total of 5GB of storage under its free plan.
- Free plan
- Standard plan – $6.67/user/month
- Enterprise – Custom pricing
- It allows you to communicate in email-style message threads.
- You can create channels (group chats).
- You can send private messages.
- It lets you search messages history.
- It allows video & audio calling (when integrated with third-party apps like Zoom).
It is one of the best Slack alternatives for enabling better and effective team communication. It is a unique combination of various tools that helps in proper management and administration. It allows team members to quickly connect with project managers and share work updates. It offers channels, task creation, search, video calls, and other functionality. Apart from this, it comes with the support for e-commerce tools, CRM, and contact center software.
Its free plan is available for up to 12 users and offers 5GB of online storage. It allows unlimited messaging and provides a search option, which makes it quite easy to search for previous messages. You can do one-to-one audio and video calls and also manage your everyday tasks.
- The free plan is available for a maximum of 12 users, excluding one admin and 5 GB of storage space.
- Plus Plan is available for $40 for a maximum of 24 users with two admins and 25 GB of online storage.
- Standard Plan is available for $99 for a maximum of 50 users with five admins and 100 GB of online storage.
- Professional Plan is available for $199 and offers unlimited users, admins, and online storage
- You can create a group and send private messages.
- It offers one-to-one audio and video calls and also supports screen sharing.
- It provides you with customizable chatbots, canned replies, and more..
- It supports CRM & marketing automation.
It is a Slack alternative that is well-suited for small businesses that are looking to make their team communication effective. It helps you with creating and assigning tasks to various team members and enhances team collaboration. It allows you to do video conferencing, sends private messages, one-to-one screen sharing, and more.
Slack offers a free plan that provides 20GB storage per team and can be used by up to 10 members. It allows you to manage various tasks, start public conversations, AI-powered searches, and more. You will get unlimited messages and also access to messages history. But there are no group video or audio calls available with the free plan.
- The free plan supports up to 10 members.
- Business Plan is available for $3, per user, per month and delivers additional features and unlimited members.
- It allows you to share multiple content in a single app.
- You can highlight members using @mentions.
- You can save innovative ideas using pins.
- It allows you to create and manage tasks for better productivity.
- You can integrate third-party apps (One Drive, DropBox, etc) for better productivity.
Fleep comes with a clean, intuitive, and efficient UI. Stay connected with your team,
make note of plans and coordinate execution. It lets you add various details to the conversation like notes, files, and you can even pin the important messages for future reference. It comes with a Presence feature instead of the usual online/offline indicators. Just check anyone’s profile to see when they were last active in Fleep. .
- The basic plan is available for free.
- A business plan is available for €5 per user, per month and billed annually
- Enterprise plans can be customized accordingly.
- You get the option to check the full message history.
- You can send unlimited messages and pin important messages.
- While Fleep’s conversations are text-based, sometimes you need to have a call to discuss things. Fleep has integration with Whereby, making it easy to have an audio or video call.
- You get audio-video calling and screen sharing options.
- It offers you storage of 100 GB.
- You can personalize your Fleep dashboard with your company’s name and logo.
- Fleep is available for iOS as well as Android devices.
Slack Alternatives with a Free Trial (Hosted Solutions)
Below are some alternatives to Slack that offer a free trial for a limited time:
1. Google Hangouts
Google introduced this chat tool as a part of the G Suite. There is no free plan available for this communication tool. You need to sign up for a 14-day trial plan. You will then access Google Hangouts, which offers text chatting as well as audio and video conferencing.
This tool offers a free trial that lasts 14 days. Once the trial plan expires for the G Suite Basic, the cheapest plan starts at $6 per user per month. If in any case, you or your company already use G Suite for any other work within the company, Google Hangouts comes as a free option.
- It allows you to create channels (chat rooms).
- You can send private messages.
- It offers screen sharing facility along with audio/video calling with multiple people.
- Google Hangouts is available as a web app, desktop app, and mobile app for Android and iOS.
2. CA Flowdock
This Slack alternative is more focused on threaded communication. It has a unique interface that makes it more attractive than other alternatives. It is a real-time messaging application where channels are separated into threads. You can create new flows and threads easily.
The free trial plan for this tool lasts for 30 days. Its cheapest plan starts at $3 per user per month, offering unlimited flows and integrations. This tool is well suited for teams having five or fewer members.
- It has channels (Flows) to start group communication.
- You can even send private messages.
- It helps you to search messages history.
- Comes with audio & video calling options.
- Its app is available for desktop as well as mobiles (iPhone & Android).
It is the most secure and robust collaboration tool available as an alternative to Slack. It ensures that the messages, calls, and other data being shared are protected using end-to-end encryption. You can run its native application on major operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu.
Wire offers a 30-day free trial, and then it costs $7/user/month. If you opt for the annual subscription, it will cost you at around $5.83 per month.
- You can create channels to chat in groups.
- It lets you send private messages.
- Supports audio and video calls.
- You can even share the code snippets in messages.
- Available for web browsers, desktop, and mobile devices (iPhone & Android).
Open-Source alternatives for Slack (Self-Hosted Solutions)
Below are some self-hosted Slack alternatives that are open-source:
This collaboration tool uses the Matrix open standard for encrypting all the messages. It is one of the security-first open-source collaboration tools. It has an advanced interface and allows you to mark preferred channels to keep them on top. This tool can easily integrate with several other third-party applications so you can use them without leaving the app’s interface.
Element is available for free to use on your company servers. If you want a hosted solution instead, the pricing starts at $2 per user per month.
- It provides end-to-end encryption of messages.
- You can initiate group chats.
- It lets you send one-to-one messages.
- Offers audio & video conferencing.
It is an open-source application that enables secure instant messaging. It comes with all the basic features that you look for in a Slack alternative. It is preferred by large organizations for internal as well as private communication. Also, the interface looks almost the same as Slack.
Mattermost Team Edition is available for free, but the Enterprise Editions start at $3.25/user per month, which is a hosted solution.
- You can create channels or chat rooms for chatting with multiple people simultaneously.
- It has role-based permissions.
- You can send private messages.
- It supports screen sharing.
- It lets you make audio/video calls with multiple people.
Slack is a well-known communication tool suitable for small as well as large organizations. However, due to its focus on enterprise customers, its pricing plans are a bit costly. This is the prime reason why many users look for the best Slack alternatives.
In the above article, we have mentioned various collaboration tools that can be used instead of Slack. Every tool comes loaded with several features and functionalities that can help to improve the internal communication of your organization. So, all you need is to choose one of them depending on your business requirements and budget.