Slack has grown to be one of the leading collaboration tools. But after going public, it has shifted its focus to enterprise customers to try to become a profitable company.

That’s why if you’re a startup or small business, you might want to check out one of these 19 slack alternatives. From enterprise solutions by Microsoft 360 and G Suite, to startup-friendly options that focus on speed, usability, and efficiency, this list provides solid alternatives to those in need.

Ready to see them?

Let’s dive in!

What Is Slack?

Slack is an internal company chat tool that enables fast-paced collaboration. In essence, it’s an enhanced real-time chatroom that integrates with many third-party apps.

Since a web app powers the tool, you can make edits to messages or even delete messages sent by mistakes (unlike email). Also, there are extra features like reminders, business tool integrations, etc. Read our guide on how to use Slack efficiently.

Free Slack Alternatives (Hosted Solutions)

Slack is a hosted solution, which means you can sign up for it, create your WorkSpace, and start collaborating. Since it provides plenty of features for free, we’ve decided to focus on alternatives that are all available as free hosted solutions.

1. Microsoft Teams

microsoft teams

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s answer to Slack. It offers the same basic capabilities and also integrates perfectly with the rest of the Office 360 suite, which makes it easy to share and collaborate on live files.

Microsoft Teams is a viable choice for any company that relies on the 360 suite.

Features

Interface

microsoft teams interface

Microsoft Team interface

It takes a bit to log in to access the interface, compared with Slack. Once it opens, it looks somewhat familiar. Menu on the left-hand side, Teams (channels) listed below, including the default “General.”

One difference with Slack is that Microsoft Teams separates different types of communications into tabs. “Chat” is the tab where you access private conversations with other coworkers. “Teams” is the general tab where your channels are. And in the “Call” tab, you can speed-dial frequent collaborators and core teammates. In “Files,” you can see a breakdown of files that people are working on.

Free Plan

The free plan is not a trial, and so it has no time limit.

For an in-depth comparison, make sure to check out Microsoft Teams vs Slack.

2. Facebook Workplace Groups

workplace groups facebook

Facebook Workplace Groups

Facebook’s Workplace Groups is part of the Workplace suite, which is Facebook’s enterprise collaboration toolbox. Unlike G Suite, there is a free plan available, so Groups isn’t hidden behind a paywall.

It’s a rare option that offers group video calls in its free plan. So it’s a great choice for a small business that wants to cut down on costs generated by video calls for meetings.

Features

Interface

Facebook Workplace Groups post timeline

Facebook Workplace Groups post timeline

The default view of each group is actually of posts. It gives the individual groups a sort of forum or help desk quality. This feature can be great for collaboration where team members live in different time zones.

Facebook Workplace Groups Chat interface

Facebook Workplace Groups Chat interface

But of course, it wouldn’t be a real Slack alternative without a chat room. Each group has a separate chatroom, where you can use many messenger features. You can, for example, send voice clips, send gifs, or even set up polls.

Free Plan

Again, the free plan can be used indefinitely but has a restriction on some features.

3. Chanty

chanty team chat

Chanty

 

Chanty is a communication and real-time collaboration tool that includes other features than just a chat. You can use it to create and assign tasks, as well as for video conferencing. It is an aggressive upstart that’s investing in giving smaller businesses precisely what they need, for free.

Features

Interface

chanty interface

Chanty interface

Chanty’s interface is clean and will probably remind you of another SaaS application. Channels are referred to as public conversations but show up the same way in the app.

It is intuitive and easy to use. You can start a call, public conversation, or create and assign tasks by clicking the plus sign.

chanty interface new conversation

Creating a new message or task in Chanty

It’s also here where you handle app integrations.

Free Plan

4. Bitrix24

bitrix24 solutions

Bitrix 24

Bitrix24 is a free marketing and communications suite, not just a real-time communication app. Their collaboration solution offers channels, task creation, search, video calls, and more. On top of this, it offers ecommerce tools, CRM, and contact center software.

Features

Interface

bitrix24 chat interface

Bitrix 24 Workgroup interface

The interface is clean and intuitive to anyone who’s ever used a similar tool in the past. All workgroups are listed to the left, while the actual contents are to the right. You can easily share files or tag someone in a new message as you’d expect from any Slack alternatives.

Free Plan

The plan is free for up to 12 users and there is no time limit.

5. Fleep

Fleep

Fleep

Fleep promises to help you work smarter, better, and faster. It’s not just a team chat or collaboration app; it also ties in project management. Tasks, pinboards, teams, and file management set it apart from the most basic competitors.

Features

Interface

fleep interface

Fleep interface

Fleep’s interface includes tasks in a categorized to-do list format. It minimizes the risk of team members forgetting tasks assigned through chat. One downside is that it can look a bit cluttered at times, but that is a small price to pay.

Free Plan

Their free plan includes only the basic team chat functionality.

6. RingCentral Glip

glip collaboration

Glip

Acquired by RingCentral in 2015 to merge it with its offerings, Glip is a team collaboration app that, like Fleep, offers task management features to help your staff stay on track.

Features

Interface

Glip

Glip

If you have ever used another chat tool, you won’t feel out of place in Glip. The chat functions will probably feel familiar, as well as the general layout. You can see relevant users and teams on the menu on the left, as well as quickly search for messages. There’s a handy feature to create calendars, notes, and tasks directly from messages.

Free Plan

It includes unlimited teams and users, but only has 500 minutes total of shared video. It’s likely the best free plan on this list for organizations that don’t use video a lot.

7. Troop Messenger

Troop messenger

Troop messenger

Troop messenger features instant messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing, and other collaboration features. It also offers native apps on all major Operating Systems, including Linux.

Features

Interface

troop messenger interface

Troop Messenger interface

The interface looks a lot more like a standard chat than a team collaboration app (and a bit outdated). It is because it originally started as one. But underneath that hood is every bit of functionality that all the main Slack alternatives offer.

Free Plan

The free plan includes no video or audio calls or screen sharing. It’s worth mentioning that paid plans start at $1 per user per month.

8. Zulip

Zulip

Zulip

Zulip combines real-time chat with email-style threading. This feature creates a unique team chat experience and helps it stand out. The goal is to eliminate time spent on messages that don’t matter to you.

Features

Interface

zulip interface streams

Zulip thread interface

Zulip’s streams make the interface unique. They mimic the threading of a typical email. It lets your staff collaborate cross-team on essential projects, without having to create an insane amount of channels.

Free Plan

Zulip limits the message search history on free plans to 10,000 messages.

Zulip is also available as an on-premise, open source solution, so you can choose to install it for free on your servers with all features unlocked.

9. Flock

Flock

Flock

Flock is a team chat app that includes to-do lists and other productivity tools as part of its DNA. It’s not the only messaging platform to do so but it includes it better than most Slack alternatives here outlined.

Features

Interface

flock interface

Flock interface 

Flock’s interface is clean and minimalistic. The focus is on open chats, so all “unnecessary” channels and DMs are hidden. You can open your to-do list at any time just by clicking a button and you can create these for teams and individual users.

Free Plan

The free plan has most of Flock’s core features, but it caps the message search at 10,000 most recent. You can also take it for a test drive without signing up with your email.

10. Twist

twist team communication

Twist

Twist is another Slack alternative that uses a thread-based model for it’s instant messaging. This feature reduces clutter and allows users to only focus on messages that are relevant to them. This solution is developed by Doist, the company behind one of the most well-known productivity app Todoist.

Features

Interface

twist interface

Twist interface

The interface is clean and might remind you more of your email inbox than a real-time chat app. The messages in every channel are divided into threads. It keeps things organized and everyone on the team can stay on top of their projects. You can, of course, also private message other users without threads.

Free Plan

Twist’s free plan limits message access to 30 days but otherwise includes most main features.

11. Missive

Missive

Missive

Missive is unique in that it’s not just a team communication and collaboration app. It integrates email, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, social media, and other channels all into a single dashboard. These integrations can be especially useful for sales and service professionals.

With Missive, you can quickly collaborate and figure out the issue of a customer before sending a reply via email, all without leaving the app to do it.

Features

Interface

missive app interface

Missive interface

The interface is a bit different from regular collaboration software as it’s a three-column UI. In it, you can view your inbox, send emails, other messages and you have the standard chat interface, along with a to-do list.

Free Plan

The free plan only allows three users and restricts the message history to 15 days.

12. Jandi

Jandi

Jandi

Jandi is another Slack alternative that has a comprehensive free plan. One unique feature is its bulletin board. You also get to use cute Line-style stickers on top of regular emoji.

Features

Interface

Jandi interface

Jandi interface

The Jandi interface is clean and very chat-centric. The bulletin board is a nice touch for teams that like to collaborate on planning and strategy openly.

Free Plan

The free plan covers up to 500 members.

Slack Alternatives with a Free Trial (Hosted Solutions)

The following Slack alternatives don’t have a free plan but offer a limited-time free trial instead.

13. Google Hangouts Chat

Google Chat

Google Chat

Google Chat is Google’s team chat solution. It is part of the G Suite, which means that there is effectively no free plan. You can, however, sign up for a 14-day trial for G Suite. It will also give you access to Google Hangouts Meet, which is Google’s video conferencing tool.

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Features

Interface

Google Chat interface

Google Chat interface

The interface is slick. Like with Slack, it defaults to channels, but these are called chat rooms instead. You can see all the members of a chat room at the very top of your app. You can easily search for related G Suite files from within the app itself.

Free Trial and Pricing

The free trial lasts 14 days. After that, G Suite Basic, the cheapest plan, costs $6 per user per month. However, if your company already uses G Suite for something else, it essentially becomes a free option.

14. CA Flowdock

ca flowdock

CA Flowdock

CA Flowdock is another Slack alternative that focuses on threaded communication. Unlike some competitors, the interface has a different feel than Slack.

Features

Interface

ca flowdock interface

CA Flowdock interface

Flows, which is how channels are called in CA Flowdock, are separated into threads, but the interface is still clearly a real-time messaging app. It doesn’t have the same inbox feel like some of the other Slack alternatives with threaded messages though. Creating new flows and threads is straightforward, and so is adding people to them.

Free Trial and Pricing

The free trial lasts for 30 days. The cheapest plan starts at $3 per user per month and would provide unlimited flows and integrations. If your team has five members or less, you can also contact them for access to a free plan.

15. Ryver

Ryver

Ryver

Ryver focuses not only on chat and collaboration but on project management too. It offers tasks, Kanban-style boards, automatic workflows, and more.

Features

Interface

ryver interface

Ryver interface

The main chat dashboard is clean and intuitive, but that’s not the biggest selling point of Ryver’s interface. It has a sophisticated task management system right inside the same app.

ryver task interface

Ryver task interface 

It’s easy to create tasks and assign them to the appropriate people. You can also tag comments or messages that are relevant to the tasks you create.

ryver task board

Ryver task board

Instead of a simple to-do list, Ryver offers a Kanban-style dashboard overview of your task. You can drag and drop tasks from one column to the next as you’d do with Trello or with any of its alternatives.

Free Trial and Pricing

The free trial lasts for 14 days. The cheapest plan is $49/month for up to 12 users. But their unlimited plan costs $79/month for unlimited users. Since most collaboration SaaS apps charge per user, this can mean significant cost savings for larger companies.

16. Wire

Wire

Wire

Wire markets itself as the most secure collaboration platform in the world. Every message, call, and conference are protected by end-to-end encryption. It also offers native apps on all major Operating Systems, including Linux.

Features

Interface

wire interface

Wire interface

Wire has the sleekest interface of all the Slack alternatives on this list. It’s intuitive and effortless to use. Since it’s so uncluttered, you’d also feel less stressed when going over internal communications.

Free Trial and Pricing

30-day free trial, and then $7/user/month. If paid annually, the price lowers to $5.83.

Open Source Slack Alternatives (Self-Hosted Solutions)

Since many of our users are fans of open source software, we’ve also included several self-hosted Slack alternatives worth considering.

17. Element (Formerly Riot.im)

Element

Element

Element uses the Matrix open standard to encrypt all messages end-to-end. It is a security-first open source collaboration solution.

Features

Interface

Element interface

Element interface

The interface itself is very modern and you can easily favorite channels to stay on top of things. You can also bridge with other chat tools, like Slack, so you can collaborate without having to leave your respective apps.

The Element app is free to use on your servers or free public ones like matrix.org. If you’re looking for a hosted solution, instead, paid plans start at $2/user per month.

18. Rocket.Chat (Server Installation)

rocket chat server

Rocket.Chat

 

Rocket.Chat is an advanced collaboration tool that offers tons of integrations, tiered permissions, and customizability features on top of video conferencing, channels, and direct messages. While Rocket.Chat only has paid options for hosted plans, the software itself is open source. So you will have no recurring costs if you choose to host it yourself.

Features

Interface

rocket chat interface

Rocket.Chat interface 

The interface is intuitive and easy to use. One of its unique aspects is the high degree of customizability. You can not only favorite channels and people but customize the channel view.

You can clone it on GitHub or follow their installation guides to deploy on your cloud server.

19. Mattermost

Mattermost

Mattermost

Mattermost is another security-first open source instant messaging app. It offers all of the features you expect from a Slack alternative and it’s used by big companies such as Intel, Nasdaq, and The United States Social Security Administration for their internal communications and DevOps workflows.

Features

Interface

mattermost interface

Mattermost interface

The interface looks and feels pretty close to Slack’s UI and other alternatives here outlined, so if you’re moving away from Slack it might be the smoothest transition for you and your team.

Mattermost Team Edition is available completely for free but if you’re looking for a hosted solution, you’d need to check the Enterprise Editions, which starts at $3.25/user per month.

Summary

We have listed 19 Slack alternatives in this post, but there are far more options available online. The market is full of similar apps (copycats sometimes?), so it can be challenging to find a worthwhile app.

In this list, we’ve featured Slack alternatives that are suitable for a range of different businesses. The best choice depends on your existing software stack, your culture, the size of your team. Ultimately, what works best for your company.

Now it’s your turn: in your quest to find a solid Slack alternative, which apps have you tried? Which one did we miss in our list? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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