Slack Alternatives: 20 Best Apps For Communities and Communication
Slack is hugely popular for its use in workplace communication, hosting communities, and even for talking among friends.It is a great tool.
But that doesn’t mean it is the best one for all situations. For example, it lacks extensive community-building features and the premium plan can be costly.
If Slack isn’t meeting your needs, we have good news: there are plenty of Slack alternatives you can try instead.
This article will explore 20 such tools. We’ve highlighted products that work well for all the main reasons why people use Slack.
20 best Slack alternatives: deep dive
Bettermode - Designed for online communities
Many companies use Slack to host online communities. But it’s not always the best tool for the job because it lacks features for building communities .An alternative is to use a platform like Bettermode that is built specifically for hosting communities.
Bettermode offers dedicated features that help businesses created branded communities to connect and engage customers.
For example, Bettermode has:
- Option to build public or private community. Some communities even have public access as well as private Spaces.
- Advanced member profiles that showcase activities, user information, pictures, and roles.
- An activity feed that highlights relevant community content when users log in (similar to social media sites).
- Options to vote, comment, or share community posts.
- Network building features such as following other users.
- The ability to create an open community and get benefits from SEO.
- Pricing plans that allow community builders to scale the membership.
A big differentiator between Slack and Bettermode is the customization options that community-builders have with Bettermode.
You can add your branding to personalize the look and feel of your community. You can even move the community to your domain or subdomain to ensure that the brand experience is consistent.
You still get the community features that people love most about Slack.
For example, Bettermode integrates with plenty of third-party tools, including social sites, marketing tools, and analytics. You can also enable members to react to posts, create spaces for different discussions, and view comments as a thread.
Many people choose Slack to host their communities because it is easy to sign up to. This removes one of the barriers that may stop people from joining.
But signing up for a Bettermode community is equally simple.
Community members can register using login details for their existing social media accounts or by using Single Sign-On if they already have an account with your business.
Microsoft Teams - Built for Microsoft users
Microsoft Teams is the standout competitor when it comes to using Slack for workforce communication.
The full version of Teams comes with Microsoft Office 365 plans, which means a considerable proportion of businesses already have access to the premium tool. There’s little reason for these people to splash out on an extra tool like Slack.
There is also a free version of the tool that anyone can access, ensuring it is accessible beyond Microsoft Office Users.
There are reasons to use Teams beyond the fact that it is widely available.
One of the standout features of Teams is its powerful video capabilities. Businesses can easily host video calls or conferences with multiple people from within the tool. It’s easy for users to share their screens, which makes explaining complex ideas easier.Another cool feature is custom backgrounds, which are helpful when you don’t want your entire team to see into your home. You can also have everyone in a call use the same background to make the meeting feel like a shared experience.
As you’d expect, Microsoft Teams also has deep integration with other Microsoft tools. It’s easy to share and collaborate on Office files, for example. There are also plenty of integrations with non-Microsoft tools like Twitter, Trello, and Adobe Cloud.
Google Chat - Designed for Google Workspace users
Google Chat for Work is a Slack alternative with one huge advantage. It is readily available to any business that uses Google Workspace. Anyone who has used Google Hangouts will be instantly familiar with the tool.
Google Chat is good for one-to-one and group messaging. There is a dedicated Chat dashboard, but one of the biggest selling points is that you can also access it in other Google products like Gmail.
Google Chat integrates with other Google Workspace products.
For example, it's easy to collaborate on Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files. All files and chats are stored in the platform, and—unsurprisingly, considering Google runs it—there’s a powerful search feature.
It’s also easy to organize video calls and conferences with Google Meets. Just set a meeting and it will be saved in your Google Calendar. There’s no separate sign-up process for people with a Google Account so everyone in your team will already have access to the tools.
The downside is that if you don’t already use Google products, there isn’t much reason to use Google Chat. You may also prefer to keep all your communication in a separate workspace like Slack or one of the other tools on this list.
Chanty - Useful for small teams
Chanty is a team collaboration and messaging tool. It doesn’t have the name recognition of the tools we’ve looked at so far, but there are some compelling reasons to use it.
The biggest is that Chanty offers many similar features to Slack at a lower price. The premium plan is just $3 per member compared to $8 per user on Slack.
There’s also a free plan, like with Slack. But while Slack limits the number of messages and integrations in the free plan, Chanty offers unlimited messages for up to ten users.
People who have used Slack will find many features they are used to.For example, you can:
- Communicate in real-time public and private channels.
- Send direct messages.
- Organize and store files.
- Integrate with plenty of third-party apps.
- Control your notifications.
The tool has a simple interface and is easy to use. It’s a good Slack alternative for businesses with under ten people or larger companies that want to save a bit of cash but still access premium features.
RocketChat - Powerful self-hosted solution
RocketChat is an open-source, self-hosted workforce collaboration and chat tool.
Being open-source has two major benefits: tech-savvy users can customize the tool and add functionality to meet their own needs, and you can use it for free if you host it on your cloud server.
The tool has plenty of the features you’d expect from a Slack alternative. You can:
- Create public and private channels as well as send direct messages.
- Organized team messaging in threads or discussions.
- Communicate via both audio and video.
- React to comments and posts with emojis.
- Create a channel just for announcements.
- Share and organize files.
And while open source free software has a reputation of being harder to use than commercial solutions, that isn’t the case with RocketChat. It has a clean UI that everyone in your team should have no problem getting to grips with.
Apart from the self-hosted version, there is also a SaaS version of the tool. The Bronze version is just $2 per user per month, making it significantly cheaper than Slack. There’s also a white label version for $4 per month.
Missive - Built for customer service collaboration
Missive is a communication app that integrates other channels like email, SMS, live chat, and social media into a single dashboard. This makes the tool powerful for service and sales teams.Team members can collaborate and reply to messages in real-time from all the channels customers contact them on. You can also create templates and pre-made responses to reply to customer queries faster.
There are four options for distributing new tickets: round-robin, least busy first, all at once, or random. Choose the one that best fits your needs.
The customer service features are enhanced with Shopify integrations that let you preview orders and CRM integrations (Hubspot, Pipedrive) that let you manage contacts.
Missive has plenty of other integrations with popular tools.
- Create Asana tasks from within the tool.
- Set up automation with Zapier.
- Share documents from Drive and Dropbox.
Missive has three pricing options. The free version limits you to three users, two shared accounts, and 15 days of history.
The $10 per user per month adds all features bar integrations and has a six-month message history limit. The productive plan is $15 per month and includes everything the tool has to offer.
Mattermost - Open-source collaboration software
Mattermost is an open-source messaging app and collaboration tool.
The tool differentiates itself from Slack because of its features developed specifically for teams of developers.
Central to this is the ability to build workflows to see projects through from planning to deployment and beyond. This is powered by integrations with tools commonly used by development teams.Beyond these specialized features, there are plenty of the standard features that people love about Slack.
- The ability to create private and public channels.
- Threads and comments.
- One-to-one messaging and group chat.
- FIle sharing and organization.
- Video and voice calls.
- Custom notifications.
As the tool is open source, it offers plenty of customization options for teams that want to build their own functionality. There are also versions of the software available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
There are both self-hosted and SaaS versions of the tool, so it’s easy to choose the one that best fits your needs. Self-hosted plans start at free, while the SaaS version of the tool is $10 per user per month, with enterprise pricing available on request.
Fleep - Connect with people outside your organization
Fleep is a workforce collaboration tool with several interesting features.
First is the ability to communicate with other Fleep users outside of your organization. This is similar to Slack’s Connect feature and means it offers functionality that some other apps on this list don’t provide.Another cool feature is the Fleep Pinboard. This lets people within your team pin important messages in conversations to increase their visibility.
The tool also has built-in task management functionality. Users can create and assign tasks from within the software.
Fleet has plenty of other features you’d come to expect from a collaboration tool.These include:
- Integrations with third-party apps.
- Team chat.
- Audio and video calling.
- Messaging and channels.
Fleep has a free plan with unlimited messages and up to 1 GB of file storage. Beyond that, the business plan costs five euros per month with enterprise options available.
Ryver - Built-in task management
Ryver promises to simplify workforce collaboration by bundling task management features in its workforce collaboration tool. This means it could potentially replace project management tools like Asana or Trello as well as Slack.
The task management software has robust features like unlimited tasks and the ability to create checklists. You can also assign and tag users.The team communication features are also strong.
You can create different forums and groups for all your topics and teams. And there’s private messaging for one-on-one conversations, as well as file sharing.
You can even make both voice and video calls with screen sharing—although this is still a beta feature at the time of writing.
Another thing that sets Ryver apart from other tools is its pricing.
Instead of paying a monthly fee per user, you pay a set monthly fee. This is $49 per month for up to 12 users, $79 per month for unlimited users, or $149 per month for unlimited users and advanced features.
Flowdock - Make use of “Flows”
Flowdock is a collaboration tool with many popular features that make it a great Slack alternative.
You can create “Flows” which are spaces for each team or group. Just like Slack channels, it makes it easy to manage your business’s communication.Conversations are organized in threads. This makes it easy for people to respond to comments without conversations becoming confusing.
You can also hold one-on-one conversations and connect via video chat and share your screen. Plus Flowdock has support for custom emojis, robust notification options, and file sharing. Basically, it’s everything you’d expect from a collaboration tool.
Flowdock integrates with many popular tools. And if you use a tool without an existing integration you can use the product’s API to create one of your own.
Pricing starts at $3 per user per month for unlimited conversations. There’s also a $9 per user per month plan with advanced features. Students and businesses or groups of less than five people can use the tool for free.
Discord - Built for gamers
Discord was built for gaming communication. But its powerful feature set means it is finding a place as a general or even work-related communication tool.It’s easy to create channels for different topics, just as you would in Slack. The tool has powerful voice functionality, including a push to talk and a Clubhouse-style live audio broadcast feature called Stage Channels. You can also do video calls and conferences.
The issue for businesses is that the feature set is aimed at social groups and gaming. Discord doesn’t integrate with as many third-party business tools like Slack and other tools on this list.
Discord is free to use, although there is a paid version for individual users that costs $9.99 per month. This enhances video and voice features, and increases upload size for file sharing.
Twist - Distraction-free work
Twist bills itself as a “distraction-free place” for teamwork. The idea is that by enabling asynchronous communication, individuals can focus on work and catch up on communication when convenient. The tool enables this in several ways. First is its thread feature. Users can create a thread and choose who to notify. All replies are stored under each thread, so it’s easy for people to catch up.
The inbox feature ensures that people don’t miss important messages when they log back into the app.
Users also have granular control over notifications. You can set a daily schedule to snooze notifications at times when you want to engage in deep thinking or be away from work.
Beyond this, all conversations are searchable making it easy to find information from even years before. And despite the focus on threads, there are still one-to-one messaging capabilities.
Twist has a free plan that provides access to one month of comments and messages, allows up to five integrations, and can be used by unlimited users. The full features plan is $5 per user per month.
Jandi - Discounts for non-profits
Jandi is a Slack alternative with all the features you’d expect from a workplace communication tool.
- Set up topic-based chat rooms for teams and projects.
- Share, manage, and search for documents. Files never expire, so you’ll always have access.
- Set up integrations with third-party tools like Google Calendar, Trello, JIRA, and more.
- Use desktop, web, and mobile app versions of the tool.
Jandi also has some basic task management features. It’s easy to create a task and set a deadline from within the app. It’s not a full-on Asana replacement, but it makes getting things done a little easier.
Jandi offers a powerful free version for teams of up to 500 people. You get 5GB storage, unlimited integrations, and the ability to store messages for a year.If you need more features, premium plans start at $5 per user per month. There’s also a 60% discount available for non-profit organizations and a 30% discount for social enterprises.
Troop Messenger - Interesting extra features
Troop Messenger is a team communication tool with several interesting features, alongside plenty of regular functionality.
In terms of the basics, you get:
- One-to-one and group messaging.
- HD video and audio calling.
- Integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox.
- The ability to give people from third-party organizations (suppliers, etc) limited access to the space.
- Screen sharing.
This is everything you need to collaborate on work. But the extra features help Troop Messenger stand out.
One of these features is called Burnout. This is a confidential chat window that lets users speak privately for a predefined period. When this time limit expires or you close the window, the conversation is automatically deleted.
Forkout is another cool addition. It’s a time-saving feature that lets you send a message or attachment to multiple users or groups at the same time without creating new groups. Just choose who you want to send the file to before sending it.
There is also a respond later feature that lets you highlight messages that you want to reply to at a later time, and a fun wallpapers feature that enables you to customize your chat background.
Troop has an affordable pricing plan that costs $2.5 per user per month. To access Burnout and other premium features, you’ll need to pay $5 per user per month.
HighSide - Secure collaboration
HighSide is a security-focused workplace collaboration tool. The product is focused on enterprises and governments, and it is compliant with major regulations like GDPR and FCA.
One of the most powerful security features is the ability to set who can access the app. Administrators can create restrictions based on the location of the user or the device they are using. You can even limit file downloads to specific times.
The app integrates directly with Microsoft products like Teams and 365 so organizations that use these tools can do so seamlessly. You can share Office files or use an extension to add end-to-end encryption to conversations from within Teams.
As well as these security features, you get regular communication tools like voice and video calling, chat, and the ability to create channels. The tool also comes with powerful and secure file sharing.
Highside’s basic plan is $5 per user per month. More advanced plans start at $12.
Webex - Powerful video conferencing
Webex is a workforce communication tool with plenty of collaboration features. It is a rebrand of Cisco Spark.
You can create spaces and groups and send individual messages. It’s a setup that will be familiar to anyone who has used Slack or other workforce communication tools. It also has advanced features like being able to pin messages or mark them as unread.
A neat feature is that you can edit and collaborate on Microsoft Office and Sharepoint documents from within the tool. You don’t need to leave the app to get work done. All files are stored and organized within the app and you can quickly find them using the search bar.You can also communicate with people outside your organization by simply adding their email addresses to a space. They can talk to you, but won’t have full access to the platform.
The tool also has a powerful video conferencing solution to enable remote face-to-face meetings. This has plenty of advanced features.
- Automatic transcription produces a record of everything said in the meeting.
- Gesture recognition lets multiple people quickly express an opinion using a gesture.
- Audio enhancement removes background noise and enhances speech.
- Recording lets you make a copy of meetings you can rewatch.
There are also all the features you’d expect to get from a video conferencing tool, such as screen sharing, a messaging platform, and calendar integration.
Webex has a free basic plan that allows HD meetings for up to 100 people. Paid plans start at $15 per month for premium meeting features.
ProofHub - Six tools in one
ProofHub is a combined project management and workplace collaboration tool. The tool claims that people who switch to it can replace six to seven other apps.
So what do you actually get?
Well, like many tools on this there is instant messaging, discussion, groups, and mentions. You can also share files and documents and integrate with multiple other tools such as storage, accounting, or invoicing software.
There are also powerful project management features. Managers can create and assign tasks and then visualize projects with Gantt charts to see exactly how each one is progressing.
You can create workflows with multiple stages and assign employees, so everyone gets notified when they have work to do. You can also create project templates to reuse for similar tasks.
The proofing features are also useful. For example, you can give feedback on documents using markup tools and keep all project-related discussions organized with threads.
Other project management features include notes, file version control, and calendar integration.
The pricing also helps ProofHub stand out. That’s because you pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited users.
There’s a $45 per month essential plan for up to 40 projects and an $89 per month ultimate plan for unlimited projects and access to all features.
Zulip - Inspired by email
Zulip is a communication tool that takes inspiration from emails. You get groups and channels just like in other chat software, but it adds an email-style topics feature that organizes messages depending on their topic.
This enables better asynchronous communication as you can visit a topic long after the initial messages were sent and still clearly see all the communication around the issue. You can then respond to these messages.
The tool has plenty of other features, including:
- Powerful notification management and the option to create weekly digest emails.
- Keyboard shortcuts that let you replace mouse actions with your keyboard.
- Off-the-shelf integrations with services including GitHub, and Trac.
- Desktop and mobile apps on both Android and iOS.
- Video calls, chats, file sharing, and search.
There’s a free version of Zulip that allows up to 5GB of file storage and has a 10,000 message search limit. The paid plan costs $6.67 per user per month.
As Zulip is open source, you can also set up your own Zulip server for free. You won’t get professional support, but the tool has an engaged community which may be enough.
Zoho Cliq - Great for Zoho users
Zoho Cliq is easy-to-use communication software with plenty of useful features. Anyone can use Zoho Cliq, but it will be especially attractive to people who already use other Zoho products.
The tool offers features such as:
- Searchable conversations.
- Voice and video call on any device, with screen sharing.
- Viewable tasks and schedules.
- Automations via custom-built bots.
- The ability to set up channels and one-to-one chats.
- An announcement feed.
- The ability to set alarms to remind you of important messages.
There are also plenty of integrations. Of course, you can integrate with other Zoho tools, but you can also set up integrations with the likes of Asana, Zoho Desk, Trello, Zapier, and Google Drive.
There’s also a feature similar to Google’s smart compose that scans the contents of messages and suggests ways for you to follow up.
Zoho Cliq pricing is competitive. There’s a free version with up to 10,000 searchable messages and up to 100 participants in a channel. The paid version starts at just $1 per user per month and offers unlimited messages and 100GB of file storage per user.
Flock - Communicate with voice notes
Flock is a communication tool with plenty of features similar to those available on Slack.
For example, you can:
- Create channels to organize discussions around teams and topics.
- Hold video calls and conferences on any device.
- Share files throughout your organization.
- Share notes, set to-do lists, and create reminders.
- Integrate with the apps you use daily, like Asana, Zapier, and Google Calendar.
A feature we like is voice notes. This lets you quickly reply to messages when otherwise engaged. It’s useful when clarifying points or quickly adding further information to an existing message.
Flock has a free plan for up to 20 people. You get up to 20,000 searchable messages with this plan. The Pro plan adds advanced features and costs $4.50 per user per month.
The best Slack alternative depends on your needs
Ultimately, the best alternative to Slack depends on what you want to use the tool for.If you want to build a community, then a platform like Bettermode is your best bet. Likewise, if you want a workplace collaboration tool and you already use Microsoft Office, Teams is a good bet.Other options are suitable for speaking with friends, saving money, integrated task management features, helping service teams, and more. Whatever you need, hopefully, this list will help you decide.