Best Slack Alternatives 2020 (Top 10 Similar Competitors)

Friday, December 4, 2020
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Introduction

It's in people's nature to like what other people like. Sometimes they even pretend to like a song or a movie just to fit in. A lot of the time, they can’t say why they like something, they just know that they do.

Whether it's kale, an Avengers movie, or a gadget like Google Home, people tend to like something just because it's hip.

One of those things is Slack. If you're here because you're looking for the best Slack alternatives, you're not alone.

Many non-conformists like yourself have found that even though Slack stole the hearts of millions of people worldwide, CEOs and founders included, it has a few downsides. One such downside is the excessive deal of features you don't want to deal with, which can turn your team's chat into a maze of twisty little passages.

Luckily, Slack is not the only game in town. There are many alternatives for collaboration software, some of which even better, in terms of speed, complexity, and affordability. 

 

 

Top 10 Slack Competitors With Similar Products

Here are the communication apps like Slack that we think are the best options. Although they are all somewhat similar, some will be better suited to your circumstances than others, so read more about each option in the sections below.

Product          

Best for

Pricing

(/user/month)

Website

Hangouts Chat

Sophisticated alternative to Slack

$6

Visit Hangouts

RocketChat

best free Slack alternative

$3

Visit RocketChat

Glip

most similar to Slack

$5

Visit Glip

Discord

good Slack alternative with rich functionality

$9.99

Visit Discord

Flowdock

a cheaper alternative to Slack

if you’re on a budget

$3

Visit Flowdock

Chanty

best for task-focused teams

$3

Visit Chanty

Flock

best for speed

$4.50

Visit Flock

Microsoft Teams

best Slack alternative overall

$5

Visit Teams

Ryver

best for team communication

and task management

$49

Visit Ryver

Mattermost

best customizable solution

$3.25

Visit Mattermost

*Prices listed do not include free versions.

 

Here’s Our Full List of the Best Slack Alternatives 2020:

Here are the top 10 good alternatives to Slack that have what Slack is missing. You'll find Slack alternatives that are simple but have powerful features. Some of these top Slack alternatives might even surprise you with their rich free version and unlimited integrations. 

Let's explore each alternative in more detail!

 

Hangouts Chat (A Sophisticated Alternative to Slack)

When Slack came along in 2013, it blew every major communication tool out of the water. Although Slack was not a highly innovative tool, it did some things really well. It gave everyone a powerful and modern application to communicate and be connected with the team, worked across all devices, and was free for most companies. 

To keep up, Google decided to re-do Hangouts from the ground up. What we have now is a very sophisticated alternative to Slack — powerful, fast, and packed with integrations. 

It's a place for teams to collaborate and share files from any office, location, or time zone. The chat tool is perfect for both office teams that want to quickly share important info and remote teams that have members scattered around the globe. 

Hangouts Chat is best for:

  • Companies that already have a G-Suite account.

  • Instant messaging.

  • Interoffice chatter and for teams who work remotely.

Features

  • Direct messages and group conversations.

  • Dedicated virtual rooms.

  • Works with all g-suites (Docs, sheets, presentations).

  • Audio calls and video conferences.

  • Plentiful integration options (including Salesforce, Trello, and HubSpot CRM).

Pricing

Unlike Slack, Google Hangouts doesn't have a free version.

It offers three different packages, including:

  • Basic, $6 USD / user / month

  • Business, $12 USD / user / month

  • Enterprise, $25 USD / user / month

If you already have a corporate G-Suite account, you'll get automatic access to Hangouts. 

Website: Hangouts

 

Rocket.Chat (Best Free Slack Alternative)

Cloud services have erased the need for businesses to depend on in-house servers for storing their growing collection of data. Not to mention that cloud services are also a cost-effective solution, saving businesses thousands of $$$ every year. 

But with many benefits, come many risks. 

Is cloud storage safe? Can you sit back and relax that no one is accessing your sensitive data?

Rocket.Chat is a communication tool developed for businesses that want to own their data.  Although the tool is similar to Slack, it has one major difference: it's free and open-source.

This open-source Slack alternative is created by thousands of developers around the globe. The chat software can easily be transformed and adapted to meet any business needs. Users have access to the source code and can fully customize, extend, or add new functionalities to the tool. 

If deployment and migration is something too technical for you, the chat tool also offers a cloud solution that comes with the same functionalities as Slack. 

Rocket.Chat is best for:

  • Anyone looking for a fully customizable Slack alternative.

  • Businesses that need a tool that ensures business agility and security.

  • Teams that need a more cost-effective chat tool.

Features

  • Easy migration of your files from Slack to Rocket.Chat.

  • Real-time automatic translation of more than 50 languages.

  • Voice messages.

  • End-to-end encryption.

  • Audio, video calling, and video conferences.

Pricing

Rocket.Chat offers two types of plans: self-managed and SaaS.

If you go with the self-managed option, the tool is free to use. However, if you want to access an extended list of features, you can upgrade to their Pro (3$ per user/monthly) or Enterprise plan (tiered pricing). 

The basic SaaS plan will cost you $2 per user/monthly, while the Silver and the Gold plan cost $4 per user and $6 per user, respectively. 

Website: RocketChat

 

Glip (Most Similar to Slack)

Here's some food for thought:

Did you know you can lose up to 40% of your productivity if you multitask? Or that 69% of workers waste up to 60 minutes navigating between apps every day? That's 32 days per year!

Say hello to Glip, the tool that brings together team messaging and collaboration in one digital workspace. 

Instead of hopping from one tool to another, now everything will be located at one central place. This team collaboration app brings together your calendar, tasks, group chat, file sharing and online meetings in one secure and intuitive application. 

The company behind the product is Ringcentral, the popular cloud-based business communications system.

Best of all, whether you're a developer, marketer, or project manager, Glip nicely integrates with many of your favorite apps, such as Google Drive, Box, and Jira.

Glip is best for:

  • Teams that want all apps to be stored at one central place.

  • Managers who need a way to collaborate with all team members at once.

  • Working faster and collaborating more effectively.

Features

  • Free messaging.

  • Group video chat.

  • Task management.

Pricing

Glip offers two different plans, Free and Standard. The Free plan is limited to 500 minutes of shared video chat while the Standard paid plan costs $5 per user per month and offers 500 minutes of shared video chat, 24/7 priority support, and more admin and privacy controls.

Website: Glip

 

Discord (Good Slack Alternative With Rich Functionality)

Discord is best known as a team chat tool for gamers, just like Slack is known for being the best chat tool for businesses. But that doesn't mean that there are no gamers on Slack or businesses on Discord. 

Even if the only game you've ever played was Mario, Discord can get your attention with its wide range of functionalities. 

Comparing a gaming messaging app with the biggest team chat app might sound like a no-brainer. However, there's a reason why Discord is featured on every Alternatives to Slack list. 

To put it simply, the app is rich with features.

If Slack's freemium version is limited to 10 000 searchable messages, Discord's free plan comes with an unlimited number of searchable messages. If the limit for video conferencing in Slack is no more than two people in their free plan, Discord's limit is eight people. 

The cherry on top is that you get an unlimited storage limit as well. 

When comparing Slack with Discord, the major difference is that Discord's main feature is voice chat. This should come as no surprise as voice chat is how gamers stay in touch while playing a game. 

Discord has some Slack-like features, such as file sharing and text chat rooms, that give it a functional edge, too.

Discord is best for:

  • Discussing projects and other work issues with your colleagues.

  • Whoever needs a chat tool that's free and has very few limitations.

  • Gamers and businesses that want to stay in sync. 

Features

  • Voice chat.

  • Unlimited storage.

  • Unlimited message history.

  • Easy live screen-sharing.

Pricing

Discord's free plan is abundant with features and has only a few limitations. For those who want to pay for it, there's also a paid plan called Discord Nitro, which offers a few additional perks. These include 50MB of space, higher quality of screen-sharing, and bigger file uploads. The Nitro plan costs $9.99 per month per user or $99.99 per year per user. 

Website: Discord

 

Flowdock (A Cheaper Alternative to Slack If You’re on a Budget)

In July 2009, a new team collaboration app was announced to the major public. Three years before Slack took the world by storm, Flowdock saw the light of day as a day-to-day communication tool for developers.

Since then, this chat tool has been adjusted to fit the needs of multiple professional groups, whether that is designers, project managers, or art dealers. 

The highlight feature of Flowdock are its Flows, open spaces for teams to communicate and collaborate.

The app makes it easier for team members to identify a topic and jump back into conversations by organizing conversations by Threads. Conversations are even color-coded, making it even easier for people to navigate between topics.

For private conversations, you can create a 1:1 Flow and discuss things privately with your team member.

And when you feel like adding a face to the voice, you can quickly activate the instant video chat and screen sharing feature through one of Flowdock's integrations called Appear.in

Flowdock is best for:

  • Teams that need a cheaper alternative to Slack.

  • Whoever is after communication and collaboration features in a single product.

  • Navigating between topics and jumping back into conversations.

Features

  • Real-time team chat.

  • Threading for conversation.

  • Team inbox.

  • Integration inbox.

  • Unlimited integrations with third-party apps.

  • Video chat and screen sharing.

  • Open API to create the integration your team needs.

Pricing

The first thing to note when it comes to pricing is that Flowdock doesn't have a freemium version. However, the company offers a 30-day free trial to test and see if the tool fits your needs.

The paid Standalone plan costs $3 per month per user, while the more advanced Enterprise plan costs $9 per month per user. 

Compared to Slack, Flowdock's paid plans are significantly cheaper. At the moment, Slack's paid plans cost $6.67 and $12.50 per user per month. 

Website: Flowdock

 

Chanty (Best for Task-Focused Teams)

We can all agree that although Slack is an advanced tool, it's becoming more complicated by the day. 

Small and medium teams that need a simple and easy-to-use chat app can ditch Slack and take a look at Chanty.

Chanty is an up-and-coming AI-powered chat app that aims to provide an intuitive experience for its users. The app boasts of keeping the right balance between usability and features by offering plenty of amazing functionalities while keeping the user interface as simple as possible.

When it comes to features, one shouldn't be surprised why the name Chanty is a variation of the word chantey, a song sung by sailors while performing physical labor together. The app offers a plethora of features that will make your team in sync and always on the same page.

There's even a bot named Rufus that helps you uncover features. 

The most powerful and unique feature of Chanty is that it focuses on tasks and work. If you look at the app's interface, you'll notice that the Task button is placed on a prominent position at the top left above any conversations. The idea behind the Tasks feature is to assign tasks to your team members and then engage in a conversation about those tasks.

Another one of Chanty's many features is the Teambook. Teambook is a place where all team activity is neatly organized, including tasks, conversations, files, and pinned messages. 

Additional features include public, private, and one-to-one conversations, as well as file sharing, audio calls, and integration of third-party apps (including Zapier, Github, and Dropbox).

Chanty is best for:

  • Small-sized and medium companies.

  • Whoever needs a more serious project management tool and messaging app.

  • Companies that are task-focused.

Features

  • Create and manage tasks to stay productive.

  • Team chat.

  • Group audio calls.

  • Video calling.

Pricing

Although Chanty offers a freemium plan, it's quite limited. It supports only ten users, which can be ideal for smaller teams. However, if you're a mid-sized or larger company, the freemium version won't benefit you in any way. What's more, group calling and video features are not available with the free plan.

You can turn a blind eye to their disappointing freemium version once you take a look at their paid plan. The paid plan costs only $3 per user per month if paid annually, or $4 if billed monthly.

Website: Chanty

 

Flock (Best for Speed)

Flock is another great alternative to Slack, which promises to bring your team together, but faster. 

Just like a flock of birds that feeds, rests, and travels together, this tool can help teams discuss projects, share ideas, and get work done in real-time.

If you want to encourage your team to get creative and get their input, the app allows you to create public channels that are open for everyone to join.

Or, if you want to discuss something privately with a team member, you can create a private 1:1 channel. 

Even if you want to enjoy some privacy and share important files with yourself, you can create your very own private workspace to use it however you wish. 

When a channel becomes too noisy, Flock allows you to mute that channel to cut down on notifications. 

Hopping on a video call is also a piece of cake and possible with a click of a button. You can call a team member directly from the chat and share your screen. 

In addition to instant chat and video calls, Flock also offers built-in polls, notes, and code snippets.

Features

  • Video conferencing.

  • Group chat.

  • File sharing.

  • Guest users.

  • Voice notes.

  • Code-snippet sharing.

  • To-do lists.

  • Polls.

Best for

  • One-click access to video calling.

  • Companies that want faster load time and file sharing.

  • Teams that are looking for a more affordable alternative to Slack. 

Pricing

Flock joins the list of communication tools like Slack that offer a free version of their product. 

If the limit for video conferencing in Slack is no more than two people in their free plan, Flock's limit is 20 people for up to 20 mins/call. Moreover, Slack's free version has a limit of 10 integrations (with more than 800+ integrations to choose from), while Flock offers an unlimited number (with only 50+ integrations to choose from). 

If you want to upgrade, make sure you're ready to spend $4.5 per user, per month (if paid annually) for the Flock Pro plan. Flock's Enterprise plan will cost you $8 per month per user (billed annually). Compared to Slack, which will take $6.67 or $12.50 per user per month out of your pocket, Flock is definitely the more affordable option. 

Website: Flock

 

Microsoft Teams (Best Alternative to Slack Overall)

One of the major news in March 2016 was that Microsoft was considering bidding $8 billion to purchase Slack. However, Bill Gates and the team decided that instead of buying Slack, they would develop their own chat app tool. 

Today, four years into the future, Microsoft Teams is a collaboration tool that combines chat, video meetings, calling, and files into a single, integrated app. With more than 13 million users daily, and 19 million users on a weekly basis, this Slack competitor is keeping Slack on its toes.

Microsoft Teams is essentially a replacement for Skype for Business. The app's main functionality is the group chat that comes with plenty of features. Some of these features include editing, deleting, pinning messages, as well as starting a new thread and sharing files. You can even send .gif images, as well as emojis.

If you prefer to communicate in threads, you'll be happy to hear that Microsoft Teams comes with a thread feature. All you have to do is click reply on someone's message. 

Microsoft Teams is such a fantastic collaboration tool that you and your team can work on Office and OneDrive documents without ever leaving the app. 

When you get tired from texting, you can quickly transfer to an audio or video call, which is possible with a click on a button. You can also record your meetings and share your screen. This functionality is not available with the free plan, but if you upgrade to their cheapest paid plan, you can have up to 250 people per video call. 

Overall, this communication platform is a top choice with great potential, but it might be more practical for teams that are already using Microsoft products.

Features

  • Group and private chat. 

  • Video calling, audio calling, and screen sharing.

  • Schedule video calling.

  • Thread messaging.

  • Works seamlessly with any other Office app.

  • Up to 250 people per video call.

  • Over 270 integrations.

  • Available in 53 languages.

Best for

  • Larger enterprise companies.

  • Microsoft-centric teams. 

  • Organizations that want to keep ideas organized and compartmentalized.

Pricing

There are two ways how you can get access to Microsoft Teams. You can either sign up for a free account, or have a Microsoft Office 365 Business or Enterprise account, where the app is included.

The freemium version comes with an unlimited message history limit, 2 GB/user and 10GB of shared storage, and screen sharing. 

The cheapest paid plan, Office 365 Business Essentials, costs $5 per user per month, and you must purchase an annual plan to get started.

If you compare this plan with Slack's cheapest paid plan, which costs $6.67 per user per month when paid annually, Microsoft Teams is actually the more cost-effective choice.  

On the plus side, $5 per month also gives you access to Office 365. 

Microsoft Teams offers two additional paid plans, including the Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($12.50 user/month annually) and Office 365 E3 ($20.00 user/month annually). 

Website: Microsoft Teams

 

Ryver (Best Team Communication and Task Management Combo)

When Ryver was founded back in 2015, Slack was already a well-known name in the tech industry. What made the battle even more difficult were the billions of dollars Slack received from its investors. 

So, Ryver made a bold move and designed an extended version of Slack, which combines team communication and task management in one app.

In a way, Ryver is a mix of Slack and Trello. It's Slack with the addition of task management, and Trello with the addition of chat. 

Just like in Slack, conversations in Ryver are organized into open Forums, private Teams, and direct messages. You can also create a task out of a message, add a reaction, start a thread, set a reminder, or edit and delete a message.

Until some time ago, Ryver audio and voice calls were supported by integration with FreeConference. But in 2018, Ryver designed its own built-in solution for audio and video meetings. Each of the paid plans offers unlimited audio and video calling, although they're limited to only five users per call. 

Task management is where Ryver is different from Slack. You can create a task out of any message, and keep work organized in kanban board templates. With Slack, there isn't a built-in task manager. However, you can still turn any message into a next step, thanks to integrations with Jira, Asana, or Zendesk. 

Best for

  • Teams that are after a team communication and task management in one app.

  • Companies that prefer a flat monthly rate.

  • Smooth project management. 

Features

  • Unlimited chat & topics.

  • Unlimited file sharing.

  • Unlimited conversation searching.

  • Unlimited tasks.

  • Unlimited team & personal task boards.

  • Voice & video calling.

  • Single Sign-On (SSO).

  • Built-in integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box.

Pricing

Ryver is one of the few alternatives to Slack that don't offer a freemium version. 

However, there's the option for a 14-day free trial with each of the paid plans.

Another thing that's unique about Ryver is that it operates on a per-team, per-month model in place of per-user pricing.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has lowered its prices. The cheapest paid plan, called Starter, costs $49 per month and can accommodate up to 12 users. You'll get all the basic features such as unlimited chat, file sharing, and voice and video calling.

The second paid plan is the Unlimited plan, which will take $79 per month out of pocket. It supports an unlimited number of users, in addition to all the features from the Starter plan. 

The most expensive paid plan is the Enterprise, which starts at $149 per month. Besides an unlimited number of users and voice and audio calls, it also comes with features such as advanced task management and Single Sign-On (SSO). 

If you compare Ryver's pricing with Slack's paid plans, Ryver is the more cost-effective solution. We did the math and this is what we got: 

  • Slack's price for 12 users: 12 x 6.67 = $80.05 per month

  • Ryver's price for 12 users: $49 per month

Not to mention that the fixed price of $49 also includes unlimited guests, data, collaboration, and task management. 

Website: Ryver

 

Mattermost (Best Customizable Solution)

In this day and age, security has become a mandatory requirement. If a company gets media attention for not being secure, it risks running out of business. 

Yahoo still holds the record for the biggest data breach of all-time with 3 billion compromised accounts.

In an attempt to avoid the Yahoo scenario, businesses are always on the lookout for the most secure tools and apps. 

This is where Mattermost comes in. 

Mattermost is an open-source Slack alternative that officially saw the light day in June 2015. 

It promises to improve any team's productivity by providing a secure and trusted space for teams to work together. 

Privacy and security is where Mattermost shines and differs the most from other chat apps. You can run your own server installation on Windows, Mac, or Linux and take full control of your communications. The app is accessed through a desktop or mobile app, but it also runs in a browser window. 

You can even rewrite its initial code to meet your company’s needs.

All of your basic communication tools are there as well. There are private and group channels, file sharing, and unlimited message history. Moreover, Mattermost integrates seamlessly with more than 700 third-party apps and can be integrated with any custom application via APIs and Webhooks. 

The only downside is that Mattermost doesn't have its built-in group video chat, which is a major surprise.

Best for

  • Larger teams.

  • Collaboration across large teams without worrying about security or data privacy.

  • Companies that want full access to source code, server APIs, and libraries.

Features

  • Public and private chat.

  • Direct messages.

  • Integrates with 700+ third-party apps.

  • File sharing and unlimited search.

  • Multi-factor authentication.

Pricing

Just like Ryder, Mattermost is another chat app tool that doesn't offer a free plan. 

Their cheapest paid plan, Enterprise E10 comes with a plethora of features, including private and group messaging, file sharing, searchable message history, multi-factor authentication, unlimited integrations, and more. It costs $3.25 per user per month if billed annually. 

The more expensive Enterprise E20 plan includes additional features such as compliance reports, premium support, and integrations with electronic discovery tools. It costs $8.50 per user per month if paid annually.  

Website: Mattermost

 

What Are the Best Slack Free Alternatives?

The 10 best free Slack alternatives are:

  • Hangouts Chat

  • RocketChat

  • Glip

  • Discord

  • Flowdock

  • Chanty

  • Flock

  • Microsoft Teams

  • Ryver

  • Mattermost

 

Which of the Alternatives to Slack Is a Good Choice for You?

The best Slack alternative for you will depend on the nature of your business, your preferences, and the size of your team.

For example, if you're a small team that only needs a few team communication features, Mattermost is not the ideal choice. 

Instead, you may want to consider using a chat app like Chanty.

Hangout Chat is best for companies that already have a G-Suite account, while Rocket.Chat is recommended for teams looking for fully customizable alternatives.

Some of these Slack competitors, like Glip, bring together team messaging and collaboration in one digital workspace. Others, like Microsoft Teams, are more suited for larger enterprise companies.

There are also plenty of other chat apps that we didn't even get to mention in this post but are gaining in popularity, such as Hipchat and Fleep. 

In terms of affordability, Flowdock, RocketChat, and Chanty seem like the most cost-effective solution.

The good news is that many of these Slack alternatives offer a freemium version. Meaning, you  and your team can always give it a go and check if they are worth their weight in gold. 

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