Best Free Slack alternatives

More than 12 million people wake up each morning and start their working day by opening Slack. Nowadays, when many companies shift their employees to remote working places, this app occupies one of the leading positions among team collaboration tools, maintaining contact between team members, simplifying their work, and boosting productivity. Although convenient and fast, Slack has some drawbacks. Today remote teams are looking for easier and more affordable services that satisfy their requirements. If you’re one of those people, take a look at our list of ten free alternatives to Slack.

Best Free Slack alternatives

Why do people use Slack?

With Slack, we forget about long and messy email threads, ordinary calls, and meetings in an office with a whiteboard and a round table with everyone gathered around it. The platform lets workers stay in contact with their teams, distribute various documents and files in one tap, use built-in integrations with other services, and store information in cloud storage - everything completely different from traditional means of communication. 

To prove Slack’s popularity and figure out the reasons for it, our team conducted a survey, where we asked respondents to tell why they choose Slack over other alternative clients. As a result, they highlighted three main arguments for using it:

 

1. It’s trendy

After talking to a couple of CEOs and hundreds of managers from different enterprises of various sizes and industries, it becomes clear that they all love Slack or at least know everything about it. This platform has this air of being cool thanks to various cutting-edge features, like smart bots or the possibility to create your own channel. But in general, the most popular answer to the question “Why do you use Slack?” was “It’s cool and everyone uses it”.

 

2. Integrations with other services

While using Slack, you can connect it to more than 2,400 other apps your company uses daily, from Dropbox to GitHub. If you don’t know what is so great about being able to do this, let us explain. At work, you may use Zendesk, Salesforce, different kinds of CRMs, or cloud storage like Google Drive. To stay informed about all the updates, you may integrate other platforms with Slack and receive notifications there in real-time, without having to open each app separately.

 

3. Powerful search

Working in a company always means tons of messages, doubling daily. To navigate through all these texts, Slack allows searching among chats and files, even looking for some particular content within documents. What is more, if you share some files from Dropbox or Google Docs, you can also search through them. Unfortunately, a free plan allows storing only 10,000 messages in one private or team chat, but paid plans set no limits on the message history.

These three reasons and the overall service effectiveness keep users tied to the platform. 

But what about other apps similar to Slack? Are there any better solutions for business?

10 best Slack alternatives to try

1) Discord

Discord has been widely known among gaming and art communities, but today this convenient team communication tool is becoming popular among remote workers as well, thanks to its advanced functionality, unlimited message history, and high-quality audio and video calls.

You can choose between two options for the app view: 

  • When channels are divided into voice and text
  • When channels are divided into private and public (like on Slack)

The main difference between Discord and Slack is that Discord doesn’t support integrations with other apps. But it’s not a problem, because the service has other great tools for text, voice, and video communication.

Key features:

  • Instant messaging in private and public channels
  • Screen sharing
  • Video and voice calls
  • Chatbots
  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • File sharing
  • Special member access to private channels

2) Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is very similar to Slack. It offers the same basic tools and integrates with all the apps of the Office 360 suite, making it quick and easy to share various files and documents and work on them together. 

The major difference with Slack is that Microsoft Teams divides different communication types into tabs so that you can find “Teams”, “Chat”, “Call”, and “Files” on the left-hand side of the screen. 

Although being mainly targeted at large companies, it also offers opportunities for small businesses. Hence, by subscribing to Microsoft Office 365, you’ll automatically get access to Microsoft Teams.

Key features:

  • Integration with more than 250 apps, including Microsoft Office
  • Team communication tools: video conferencing, voice-only calls, group messaging, shared calendars
  • File editing and sharing
  • Public and private channels, group chat tool
  • Cloud storage for meeting recording, important conversations, and shared files
  • Enterprise-level security with admin controls
  • Compatibility with desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobiles
  • Screen sharing
  • Guest access

3) Chanty

Chanty is a multi-user platform for arranging remote communication within small and medium-sized business teams. It includes all the tools which have made Slack popular, from private and public chats to video chat, but can boast expanded functionality. 

The most distinctive feature it offers is called Teambook. It helps to organize all your chats, files, and tasks into folders. Moreover, you can use Chanty to create projects, assign tasks, hold video conferences, and track team workflow. All in all, this service is more than an ordinary team collaboration app.

Key features:

  • AI-powered search
  • Group chats: private and public
  • No limits on conversations and message history
  • Smart task manager
  • Voice messages
  • Powerful conversation actions: @mentions, reactions, emojis, pins
  • Integrations and multi-platform support

4) Fleep

Fleep positions itself as a smarter, better, and faster alternative to Slack. Being more than just a team messenger, it represents an advanced platform for collaboration and project management. Its interface is divided into sections: “Tasks”, “Conversations”, and “Pinboard”. The Pinboard feature lets users pin important messages, tasks, and reminders for quick and easy access, minimizing the risks of forgetting significant information. Furthermore, Fleep allows hosting video conferences along with one-on-one conversations. 

Key features:

  • Task management
  • Team chats
  • Unlimited conversation history
  • Video and audio calling
  • Screen sharing
  • Cloud storage for conversations and files
  • Easy access to a meeting without signing up
  • Built-in integrations

5) Twist

And now meet an app that was named a 2022 Fast Company World Changing Idea - Twist. This platform claims to be one and the only "true alternative to Slack". What's so good about it?

Twist is different from other apps on our list because it’s most suitable for asynchronous teams. It looks very similar to a traditional email client, thanks to a thread-based model of communication, but serves different purposes. Its async-friendly threaded interface helps users not to get lost among all the information shared within the company and concentrate only on relevant chats with other employees. Each chat is clearly titled, making it easy to navigate to any topic or conversation even years after it took place. Along with threads, you can also participate in private conversations, make video calls and manage tasks.

Key features:

  • Threaded conversations
  • Chatbots
  • Powerful search among the full history of messages and comments
  • Public and private channels
  • Web-based, desktop, and mobile apps
  • Asynchronous communication for thoughtful discourse
  • Unlimited chat members and guests
  • A wide range of integrations will all widely known platforms

6) Jandi

Jandi is a modern app oriented toward group communication in business teams, offering numerous useful tools for effective collaboration. It’s created by talented developers from Japan, and you can see their unique Asian style in the minimalistic app design. Jandi's features are very similar to those of other programs like Slack, the only difference is its bulletin board, which is useful for those teams that are fond of planning and setting goals together. The service offers the web and mobile versions, both quick, convenient, and with a clear user-friendly interface.

Key features:

  • Topic-based chat rooms
  • Easy-to-use file search and sharing
  • Schedule management
  • Simple task management
  • News board
  • Integrations with other platforms

7) Workplace by Meta

Meta has developed a collaboration toolbox for enterprises - Workplace.

Despite many other apps, this service offers video online meetings included in a free plan. So if your company’s primary need is video conferencing, this platform is a great solution.

The app’s interface is quite different from the one in Slack: the main page consists of posts, looking very similar to some kind of a forum. But what makes this program look like Slack is a chat room. When you open a post, you’re given access to a chatroom, where you can talk with other participants using many collaboration tools.

Key features:

  • Communication in groups (with your team, department, or the whole company) 
  • Voice and video calling
  • File sharing from Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive
  • Various kinds of posts: Q&A, achievement, scheduled
  • Possibility to work with external partners
  • In-built translation tool with up to 90 languages support
  • Newsfeed with company’s updates
  • Engagement tools: comments, reactions, polls, and surveys
  • 24/7 customer support

8) Zulip

Zulip is an open-source alternative to Slack, which means you can use it for free without any limits on your servers. Its interface is organized similar to email, creating threads of messages from your interlocutors. This messaging app is convenient for people who are not always on chat, for example, part-time workers or remote teams. The main goal of the Zulip team is to help users save time skipping messages not relevant to them. 

As Slack, Zulip offers over 120 integrations with popular platforms, like Asana, Instagram, GitHub, Jira, Jenkins, and many more.

Key features:

  • Self-hosted Slack alternative
  • Threaded conversations
  • Group and one-on-one video and audio calls
  • Group chats/Channels
  • Private and public channels
  • Integrations with other platforms
  • Full-history search
  • To-dos
  • Meeting guests

9) Flock

Flock is another great platform to organize communication within a company. It claims to be faster than Slack. Apart from basic communication tools, like one-on-one chats, it allows hosting high-quality video conferences, creating smart reminders, todos, polls, and integrating with over 40 third-party platforms - Asana, Trello, GitHub, Google Drive. 

When using the service, you will enjoy its minimalistic and clean design, which hides all irrelevant chats and DMs and shows only recent messages or those requiring attention. You can open your to-do list any time you want and check tasks, which need to be fulfilled or create some for yourself and other team members.

Key features:

  • HD video and audio conference calls
  • Cross-platform support
  • To-do lists, notes, notifications, and reminders
  • Powerful history search
  • Integrations with the most popular platforms - Jira, Google Calendar, Asana, Visual Studio, and more
  • Encrypted communication

10) Whoosh

Whoosh occupies a special place among all tools like Slack. Its main goal is to turn each virtual gathering into a memorable event and help users overcome a so-called “video call fatigue” - extreme anxiety and tiredness remote users often struggle with after a day of video calls. The service offers a wide range of specialized tools to stimulate people to communicate with the camera on and help them feel comfortable and relaxed during video conferences. 

As for meeting capacity, you can invite up to 500 participants to talk in one virtual room, so Whoosh will be the best solution for teams of all sizes.

Apart from that, the platform introduces AI-powered software to make online communication interactive, engaging and fun. With a bunch of vivid backgrounds for every occasion and AR masks you can’t but give this app a shot.

Key features:

  • Full-HD conference calls with superb audio quality
  • AI and ML-based tools: gesture recognition, pulse, and mood assessment, touch-up features
  • Cloud storage for meetings and shared files
  • Screen sharing, virtual whiteboard, weatherman layout
  • 3D immersive backgrounds with 360° view
  • Mementos - AI-based short meeting highlights with transcriptions
  • Secure collaboration platform with high-end web protection: end-to-end encryption, GDPR, ISO, and HITRUST compliance

Brief summary

Service

Number of users

Cost

Integrations

Security

Voice and video calls

Slack

Up to 500,000

$0 - $12.50 /user/month

Yes (more than 2,400)

  • Data encryption at rest and in transit
  • 2FA
  • OAuth with Google
  • Integration with EMM

Yes

Flock

100,000+

$0 - $4.50 /user/month

Yes, ​​with internal LMS, HRMS, and other systems

  • Admin controls
  • Google OAuth sign-on
  • SOC 2 Compliance
  • TLS 1.2 Data Encryption

Yes

Discord

No limited direct messages and channels

$0 - $9.99 per month

$0 - $99.99 per year

No

  • SSO
  • 2FA
  • Client-server architecture
  • Host controls

Yes

Microsoft Teams

Up to 500,000

$0 - $12.50 /user/month

Yes, with other Microsoft apps

  • Data encryption in transit and at rest
  • Single sign-on
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Auditing and reporting

Yes

Chanty

Unlimited

$0 - $3 /user/month

Yes

  • Security protocols for data transfer
  • Host controls
  • File system and storage encryption
  • Isolated team storages

Yes

Fleep

Unlimited group chats

€0 - €5 /user/month

Yes

  • Admin controls
  • User account management
  • Retention policy for files

Yes

Twist

Unlimited

$0 - $6 /user/month (yearly)

$0 - $5 (monthly)

Yes

  • Data protection in transit and at rest
  • Data reliability
  • Admin controls
  • OAuth with Google

Yes

Jandi

Unlimited

$0 - $9 /user/month

Yes

  • Encrypted chats and files
  • Secured by Amazon Web Services

Yes

Workplace by Meta

Unlimited

$0 - $4 /user/month

Yes

  • Admin controls
  • Single sign-on
  • ML threat intelligence and automated detection
  • Secure protocols

Yes

Zulip

Unlimited

$0 - $6.67 /user/month 

$0 - on your services

Yes

  • Encryption in transit and at rest
  • TLS and SSH secured
  • Admin controls

Yes

Whoosh

Up to 500 members in one room 

$0 - $14.99 /user/month

Yes

  • Host controls
  • Encrypted data in transit and at rest
  • Encrypted cloud recordings
  • 24/7 network safety monitoring

Yes

How to choose the right tool for your business?

In 2019, according to a study by Lifesize, 59% of employees used software for video conferencing at work, 45% of whom took part in video calls on a daily or weekly basis. It's 2022, you should obviously join them (in case you still haven't). But how to choose YOUR app?

Fortunately, when it comes to selecting the best option for your needs and requirements, there is a broad range of variants. Some of them are free, but with limited functionality. Some require monthly payments, but you may not need so many various tools, being a small startup. 

As you can see, the choice depends on several factors: the size of your business, the industry and the niche it occupies, your team’s wishes and needs, and, of course, the budget you can afford to spend on a service.

Choosing a perfect app is challenging, but with careful research and using trial versions, it’s possible to find an ideal platform you’ll be satisfied with.

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