Slack vs. Discord: The Ultimate Comparison
With a great variety of community collaboration tools on the market, it can be hard to choose the one that fits all your needs. This blog compares the top-rated platforms — Slack vs. Discord — to help you choose the solution that’s right for you.
With 76%* of internet users participating in online communities, now is a great time to build an online community, and there is no shortage of good tools to help.
The biggest question, though, is which platform is best to build your community on.
If you’re interested in choosing between Slack vs. Discord, this guide provides a thorough comparison to help you make the best decision.
While there is no silver bullet to grow your online community, having the right all-in-one tool is critical.
This is where Bettermode simplifies and solves. Made to simplify community engagement, our all-in-one platform provides everything you need to engage your community.
Ready to see the power of Bettermode’s community platform? Talk to sales for a demo. Or keep reading for a comparison of Slack vs. Discord.
Our top takeaways:
- Look for a community platform that is distraction free
- Make sure your chosen community platform helps grow your brand
- Opt for a tool that has the right features and functionality, plus built-in safety and security
With this in mind, let’s get into the comparison — starting with Slack.
What is Slack?
Slack is a communication platform that people can use to connect, chat, collaborate, and keep in touch.
You can access Slack through a browser, the mobile app, or the computer app. Because of this flexibility, it’s possible to use it across many different devices.
People use Slack to exchange instant messages, both direct messages or group messages — called Channels. Slack offers good features like screen sharing, plus it’s also possible to integrate with lots of other apps, such as Zoom, Trello, and Google Drive.
Slack key features
Slack’s key focus area is instant messaging for businesses. It's not built for communities. You can message anyone inside or outside an organization and use dedicated spaces called ‘Channels’ to bring people and information in your workspace together.
Slack pros and cons
When it comes to community building, here are Slack’s pros and cons:
- Good for text-based group conversations, also supports video calls.
- 10 Slack integrations in the free version, 100’s more in the paid plans.
- Easy to share and collaborate in real-time.
- There are screen sharing options and you can quickly respond with emojis.
- Advanced search to find messages.
- There is minimum file storage and Slack slowly deletes files over time.
- Slack groups cannot be customized exactly based on the branding when building a customer community.
- Since Slack channels are private, there is no SEO benefits.
- The free plan limits the search to the content created in the last 90 days.
- Slack notifications throughout the day can be hard to keep on top of.
- Slack users say there is a lack of event management, moderation, and gamification.
Comparison to Bettermode
Features are an essential part of any software solution, and they may have a huge impact on your decision. Bettermode and Slack have some features in common, but also some exclusive ones.
In short, Slack is an instant messaging tool for team communication — usually used for quick response conversations.
In contrast, Bettermode is an all-in-one platform for all your community needs; private messaging, advanced search, moderation tools, gamification, and so much more — all in one place and under your brand.
What is Discord?
Discord is an instant messaging voice, video, and text chat app — mainly used for gamers, private invite-only groups and other communities.
Discord is made up of spaces — called Discord Servers — and channels. These are usually dedicated to specific topics and can have different rules.
It started because the founders wanted to use Discord as a communication tool for voice calls with their gamer friends without depending on tools like Skype. And is still the go-to platform for gamers to communicate.
Discord key features
Discord’s key focus area is instant voice messaging. While Discord is mainly focused on voice chat, it also supports video and text chats. The app developers are big fans of computer games, and they know how to build communities for gamers. Discord nitro also offers more advanced features like extra storage.
Discord pros and cons
So, how does Discord measure up when it comes to community building, here are the key pros and cons you need to know:
- Personal messaging, group messaging, and server-based messaging
- Handles text, images, video, and audio fairly well.
- Has in-browser and desktop capabilities with bots support.
- There is a mobile version and it has cross-platform use.
- AI chatbots help to automate repetitive actions, such as chat moderation or onboarding.
- Communities can't be white-labeled
- Fewer customization options to make it fully synced with the branding guidelines
- UI can get a bit cluttered, disorganized, and confusing.
- No SEO benefits from the content generated in Discord servers.
- Discord's post composer is not powerful enough for publishing rich content.
- Some Discord users say there is a lack of moderation and safety controls.
- Lack of incentivization and gamification tools.
Comparison to Bettermode
Unlike Discord, Bettermode is distraction free. Nobody has the power to bother your members, censor discussions, or delete your work.
In fact, Bettermode has everything you need to run your community, all in one place — with spaces for different use cases such as forum discussions, ideation, help center, events, product roadmap.
It couldn’t be easier to get started. There are plenty of ready-made professional templates and a help centre with everything you need in one place.
Interested to find out more? Here’s a quick summary.👇
What is Bettermode?
Bettermode — the all-in-one community forum platform — was built as a solution to simplify customer experience and help businesses build fully customized customer communities.
Here are some of the features we found were of utmost importance to community builders to help them to manage, moderate, and monetize their communities in one powerful tool.
Key features for community builders:
- 100% community ownership: Your brand — not the platform brand — has complete control over your community. And constant notifications can’t distract your community from engaging.
- Gamification: An ideal community management tool must have an in-built reward system. Our leaderboard is automatically populated with the most reputed members to build healthy competition and recognize quality contributions.
- Customization: As a community builder, you want to showcase your brand. Yet, as mentioned, some tools have very limited customization options. Bettermode has a powerful Design Studio to fully customize the community with unique layouts.
- Embed tools: Embed tools let you embed your forum into your existing website or app.
- Apps and integrations: Integrations include Zendesk, Intercom, Zapier, Slack, MailChimp, Amplitude, Mixpanel, FullStory, Hotjar, and Google Analytics.
- Ease of use: Pre-made templates help you create a forum that looks great and get it up and running fast. Plus, Spaces with built-in posting permission settings help you categorize content and structure your community.
- Effortless management: Featured answer function lets you highlight the best answers in the community. And with smart suggestions, previously asked questions are showcased when a customer asks a question.
- Brand building: As well as having the ability to fully personalize your community with your branding, Bettermode also offers built-in SEO features like meta tags and schema markups to help optimize your community content and expand your audience.
- Easy moderation: Moderation tools, such as automation rules, help you keep your community safe and clean. Plus, ability to build multilingual communities with support for languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, etc.
- Rich analytics: Analytics dashboards help you identify trending posts given the number of replies, views, and reactions.
In short, Bettermode clearly stands out as the best alternative for both Slack and Discord, as it solves all of their shortcomings, plus offers all the perks and so much more.
Slack vs. Discord vs. Bettermode: The verdict
Today’s fastest growing brands prioritize brand communities to earn engagement and loyalty. But they are going beyond merely building a social presence, to building an actively engaged community in the look and feel of their brand.
While brands can dive into community building with basic tools, scaling successful brand-led communities requires the right technology.
Both Slack and Discord offer great features, and they both allow people to collaborate through instant messages, video, and sharing files. But they both prioritise building their own brands over promoting yours.
In short, true community building features are lacking and notifications from other communities are a constant distraction.
Instead of building Slack of Discord’s brand, Bettermode offers a way to bring together everything you need to build your communities, and all under your brand.
Here’s a quick snapshot summary of the key differences at a glance. 👇
Slack vs. Discord vs. Bettermode comparison table
With all this in mind, how do you know when to choose between Slack, Discord, or Bettermode?
With all this in mind, how do you know when to choose between Slack, Discord, or Bettermode? Let’s get into it.
When to choose between Discord vs Slack vs Bettermode
As community building grows in importance, choosing the right tool has become a business critical decision. You don’t want to get it wrong. When businesses think of community apps they often jump right into comparing the pros and cons of Discord vs Slack.
But choose the wrong tool and you’ll be back to the drawing board in no time. While Slack, Discord, and Bettermode all offer robust solutions, which tool is best for your needs?
Here is a quick summary of each:
Slack: Best for real time text messaging for internal business comms
As we’ve seen, Slack is primarily a business messaging app designed to centralize all the internal communication for an organization. This is currently the app that a vast majority of the companies use for employee collaboration. It provides real-time messaging, easy file sharing, offers channels to categorize discussions, and integrates with popular third-party tools. And the free plan allows you to search for the most recent 10k messages. All this makes Slack a good communication tool for internal business communications.
Where it falls short: But it falls short when it comes to those looking to set-up a professional brand community. It can be highly distracting and lacks features such as moderation, gamification, and event management.
Discord: Best for real-time voice messaging and gaming communities
Discord, on the other hand, started as a platform to host gaming communities and communications tool for gamers. However, recently the positioning has changed to showcase that it can be used to host any kind of discussion for a group of people with a shared interest, such as project management. The key difference is the superior voice messaging capability and a free plan with unlimited message history.
Where it falls short: While it is an excellent app for voice messaging, like with Slack, it too can be highly distracting for your community and lacks the ability to fully white label a community for your brand.
Bettermode: Best all-in-one community platform for brand-led communities
On the other hand, Bettermode is a full-fledged, all-in-one community platform. Our fully customizable and white-label platform is for brands and creators to launch communities with social media best practices. You can get started for free (up to 500 members), host the community under your domain name, and customize it based on your branding.
Where it shines: If you need to launch a brand-led community, you can get started with Bettermode now, or keep reading to learn more about the limitations of instant messaging apps and an alternative for community engagement.
In summary, when deciding which platform is right for you, take your time and consider which features are essential for you. Read up on each solution and look for trusted reviews. Then look at pricing plans and reach out to the teams behind the platforms to ask key questions.
The limitations of instant messaging apps for community building
Instant messaging (aka chat apps) has become an important and easy communications channel for many organizations. It's changing how individuals and teams interact at work. But, it has its downsides.
And they have their limitations when it comes to community building. Especially brand-led communities.
The biggest limitation of instant messaging apps? The content lacks longevity and the apps are distracting.
Chat tools are inherently noisy. Too many topics, too many ad hoc groups, too many comments on multiple topics in the same stream or thread. As soon as this happens, most people will turn chat off. Some people have a very low tolerance for noise. When they need information, or can provide help, they’re keen to connect. Otherwise, people are busy and want to focus on their own work.
As a community builder, you are basically put in the position of having to compete for your community members’ attention — because it’s so easy to get distracted by different notifications from other communities.
What ends up happening is that you primarily build up the messaging apps brand, instead of strengthening your community and building your own brand. And community members are at risk of dropping out.
The solution lies in the right community building platform. But what are the key considerations when choosing the right community platform?
Let’s take a look.
Slack vs. Discord: How to choose the right community forum platform
Most community platforms offer the same basic functionality. But looking beyond the essentials, here are the six key ‘must-haves’ when choosing the right community forum platform:
- #1: Effective topic organization: Does the community platform support multiple levels of nested subcategories and offers tools to help you manage these categories?
- #2: Ability to differentiate certain content: Does the tool allow you to pin certain information to the top, to prevent important content from getting lost in a sea of posts? And can it showcase best answers or most helpful topics?
- #3: Notifications and follow features: Does the solution allow people to follow certain threads or conversations and receive a notification for new replies?
- #4: Advanced search: Does it provide advanced search functionality? Are all tags and keywords searchable and can you quickly direct customers to relevant posts?
- #5: Built-in SEO: Does the platform have built-in SEO functionality so that people outside your community can benefit and you can keep growing your community?
- #6: The right integrations: Does it integrate with other support tools you are using, such as your CRM, help desk software, chatbot, and live chat?
Bettermode provides all of these more advanced features and much more and is a viable alternative to both Discord and Slack.
An alternative to Discord and Slack for community engagement
So there you have it. It’s indisputable that Bettermode is the leading platform for brand-led community building. It provides everything you need all in one place and with no distractions.
Through commitment, engagement, and the right platform, companies can cultivate brand communities that deliver powerful returns.
Let’s make a final recap on the main differences between Slack and Discord.
Main differences between Slack vs. Discord:
- Slack is great for instant text messaging but if you need anything else — such as events or ideation and feedback — you’ll need to integrate an app taking people off the community.
- Similarly, Discord is robust in terms of instant voice chat, but is let down by lack of engagement, and security and safety issues.
- The good news is — Bettermode simplifies and solves these issues through its all-in-one easy-to-use and highly secure platform packed with features and customizations.
In short, if you want to set-up a professional community where your members can engage, interact, and be rewarded inside of your community, you should use Bettermode.
Features our customers love include:
- Easy-to-use interface with a well thought-out community structure including content categorization, easy navigation, and tags
- Frictionless and secure member authentication with Single Sign On (SSO) and social login options.
- Professional and easy-to-use customization options, including beautiful typography, color palettes to reflect your unique brand.
The best bit? All of these can be done quickly and easily.
Looking for more?
📖 Check out our resources and expand your community engagement skills:
- How a customer support forum can benefit your business + top software picks
- Selecting a community platform? Consider this 15-point checklist
- Slack alternative: 20 best apps for community and communication
If you still have unanswered questions, take a look at the most commonly asked questions about Slack vs. Discord below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Slack vs. Discord: Is Discord better than Slack?
In short, Discord is a great option for online gaming communities, while Slack is better for businesses that want instant messaging functionality for team members looking for team chat apps.
Slack vs. Discord: Is there an alternative?
Bettermode is a brilliant alternative to both Slack and Discord. Put simply, it is built for mid-size and enterprise businesses that want to engage and educate customers through a fully customized community.
What are the best Slack alternatives?
If you are looking to build a brand-led community, then Bettermode stands out as a brilliant Slack alternative. Bettermode is an easy-to-use interface with a well thought-out community structure, including content categorization, easy navigation, and tags.