Slack is an excellent business messaging app. It offers public and private channels, easy file sharing, and critical integrations with Zoom and Google Drive. It’s user-friendly too and works on desktops, mobiles, and even tablets, making it the best business messaging app on the market.
Comparing Slack to The Best Business Messaging Apps
Slack is a top-notch business messaging tool. The app was our number one pick and is best for most companies due to its user-friendly design, intuitive nature, and multi-device compatibility. It’s currently the best of the best on our list for good reason.
We picked the seven best business messaging apps, carefully looking at the features of each. See all of our top picks to get an idea of how each stacks up.
Slack: The Good and The Bad
Helpful Conversation Histories: You get immediate access to previous conversations once you successfully join an existing group. Past discussions are easy to find, allowing you to catch up on project progress and see which questions got asked.
Highly Customizable: There’s a high level of customization on offer. You can customize alerts, from muting them for channels that aren’t critical to your work to enabling and disabling notifications altogether. You can even silence all notifications during specific hours of the day.
Easy File Sharing: You can share documents and files with people in real-time within a Slack conversation. There’s the ability to comment on a document and get feedback instantly, and files, documents, and photos are shareable from your desktop or cloud storage service.
Top Integrations: Slack integrates with several top applications, and more get added regularly. Integrations are available with Zoom, Google Drive, Asana, Monday.com, Dropbox, Outlook Calendar, and Zendesk. All of these work seamlessly within the business messaging app.
Expensive Plans: Slack’s three main plans aren’t particularly competitive. A free version does exist, but it’s only free for small teams and has some notably limited features. It’s a high-quality business messaging app; just be aware you’ll have to pay for that quality.
Call Quality Issues: Slack’s video and audio calls could be more stable. Additionally, when calling others, there can be long delays before you can finally connect. That said, Slack issues frequent updates that work to address these problems, and the quality will always vary for different users.
Slack Pricing and Options
Slack comes in four main plans, three of which are paid options.
The free plan lets users get a taste of things, although the features are somewhat limited. You’ll be able to use personalized notifications, unlimited private and public channels, and 1:1 voice and video calls directly inside the messaging app. The free plan also gives you access to 10,000 searchable messages and notable file-sharing capabilities.
The first paid plan, Pro, costs $6.67 per month and offers group voice and video calls of up to 15 teammates, Google authentication so you can sign in to Slack using an existing account, and an unlimited number of integrations with other tools of your choosing. There’s also 10 GB per team member of file storage, custom retention policies for messages and files, and 24/7 customer support.
Next is the Business+ plan, which costs $12.50 per month and gives users 24/7 customer support with a four-hour first response time, unlimited channels, and SAML-based single sign-on (SSO). For that price, you’ll also get access to 20 GB per team member of storage space, data exports for all messages (as required), and Active Directory sync with OneLogin, Okta, and Ping Identity.
The final plan is Enterprise Grid—you’ll have to contact the sales team for a full quote here. It includes everything from the preceding tiers, as well as support for up to 500,000 users, centralized controls, customizable policies, and 24/7 priority support with a four-hour first response time.
That’s without mentioning the 1 TB per team member of file storage, an unlimited number of workspaces, and support for integrations with Data Loss Prevention (DLP), e-Discovery, and offline backup providers. Enterprise Grid is the complete package and best suits larger companies.
So how does Slack shape up? Overall, there’s a great selection of features available, but the plans are somewhat costly compared to others on the market. The free tier could also be a bit more generous with the features it allows you to try out. We still think Slack is hard to beat, and the quality on offer largely justifies the higher prices.
Slack Customer Support
Each plan offers differing levels of customer support, and it’s not until the later two tiers that you’ll get 24/7 support with a response time of four hours or less. That said, the customer support on offer is professional, friendly, and quick to solve problems.
In total, there’s live chat, email support, specific help pages, and demo videos. The live chat service on the site quickly allows you to get in touch with a support team member, and customers can fill out a form on the site to get contacted via email later, should they prefer that method.
Slack also provides a dedicated series of tutorials covering the basics, including how to find and start conversations and how to adjust your notification settings—something we’ll look at in the next section.
Slack is particularly strong regarding customization and the many options available to users. For example, you can set up precise notifications, only getting alerted about the messages that matter. In the top right corner of the app, you can quickly filter discussions to see which files you’ve added to conversations and can also choose to view messages you’ve starred.
Slack enables you to inform others when you’re in a meeting, out sick, or on holiday and you can set a date and time for when your status defaults back to normal. You can choose between icons that best represent your status, type custom messages, and set times as needed—there are a host of options that allow you to make Slack the best messaging app for you.
All of that is without mentioning that Slack provides users with a powerful API to inspire them to build specific Slack apps. Software developers can use the API to their advantage and create custom integrations that link to particular snippets within conversations. Moreover, the Workflow Builder allows you to turn processes into automated workflows to keep things running smoothly.
Overall, there’s a lot of customization available, which only helps to strengthen an already compelling package.
Slack’s performance is more of a mixed picture and is one of the only areas that needs improvement. While navigating the user-friendly interface is quick and easy, occasional bugs can occur when jumping between channels. Certain integrations with the app can cause it to slow down or crash completely, and only exiting the app and reloading it brings up your conversations again.
On the call front, connection issues do sometimes occur, and there can be long delays between calling someone and finally connecting with them. Updates over time have addressed most of these issues, but there’s still room for improvement. The audio and video call quality could be better, with infrequent sound problems and videos that change resolution quality or even stall—keep in mind respective internet connections can affect this.
With that said, you’re getting a slick messaging app that loads fast, is (almost) always responsive, and rarely feels like a chore to use, thanks to its intuitive nature. Overall, the performance issues aren’t significant enough to take away from an otherwise excellent tool—just don’t expect perfection.
Slack Mobile Functionality
Slack offers dedicated apps for Android and iOS devices that allow you to communicate and collaborate with your team while on the go. Using the app, you can message or call any person or group, share and edit documents, and access the knowledge base that automatically indexes and archives your team’s past conversations (and files). Additionally, the integrations with Google Drive, Salesforce, and Dropbox all work seamlessly, adding extra functionality to the app.
You can customize your notifications with as much depth as the desktop version allows, and having the complete list of your direct messages (DMs) means getting back to one-on-one and small group conversations is easy. We’re impressed with the swipe gestures that let you effortlessly navigate between screens, too—it’s as simple as swiping right to open a list of your workspaces or swiping left to get back to your last conversation.
Meanwhile, the mobile app makes starting a new conversation or posting a message straightforward. A recently updated feature allows you to create a new discussion or send a message to an existing one without first finding it in your channel or DMs list. You’ll also be able to jump on a call with your team by simply hitting the “Call” button, and seeing all your mentions in one place saves a lot of time.
There are a few performance issues here and there, including slowdowns and occasional freezes, although it’s nothing that ruins the entire experience. Like the desktop version, Slack issues frequent updates, so most problems get dealt with promptly; again, just don’t expect a flawless result.
All in all, the Slack mobile apps are solid and provide all of the primary features from the desktop version, but with the added ability to use them wherever and whenever—a worthwhile proposition.
Slack is decisive when it comes to integrations and supporting other apps and services. The messaging app works with everything from Google Calendar to Zendesk and Salesforce, and each integration adds significant functionality. Best of all, the integrations are easy to set up.
There are no additional costs to connect the tools you already use, and the apps work inside Slack’s channels, making them a unified part of the experience, whether on desktop or mobile. For example, using Google Calendar in Slack allows you to create an event directly, and you can automatically sync your calendar to your Slack status to let your team know when you’re in a meeting.
There are over 2400 apps available in the Slack App Directory, and it’s as easy as signing into Slack before installing them. Any member of a workspace can install an app, and all members can connect their accounts to use it, so it doesn’t take long to get up and running. The app directory is continually growing, with new apps added every month.
Lastly, the workflow builder takes things further, allowing you to automate routine processes to save time. You’ll be able to connect your workflows to other apps and services, and the Slack Resources Library lets you find ideas and templates to get started. Couple that with the app directory, and the number of possible integrations and enhanced capabilities you can add to Slack is vast.
Overall, it’s fair to say Slack excels in the area, rounding off an already-great package.
How Slack Ranks
Slack is an excellent business messaging app allowing remote teams to communicate and collaborate. From the easy file sharing to the superb integrations and robust mobile apps that enable it to work across multiple devices, Slack is a top contender in a crowded market. It’s one of the best options available for most remote working teams.
We created a comprehensive list of the best business messaging apps today—to see our top picks, check out our guide.
- Slack – Best for most
- Microsoft Teams – Best for large teams with smaller sub-teams
- RingCentral Video – Best for sharing documents
- Twist – Best for remote teams
- Google Chat – Best for Google Workspace users
- Discord – Best for voice chat
- Mattermost – Best for self-hosting
Slack is one of the very best business messaging apps available. It provides companies with a host of great communication features, it’s easy to use, and offers a variety of useful integrations. Expensive plans and irregular performance issues aside, we recommend the app to most businesses without hesitation.