Top 5 Slack alternatives for 2020: Free and paid solutions

Top 5 Slack alternatives for 2020: Free and paid solutions
Ivan Pavlov
March 13, 2020
Last updated: March 12, 2020

Table of content

What is Slack

Slack Pricing

What`s wrong with Slack

5 alternatives to Slack


In 2011, the cost of miscommunication reached $37 billion dollars per year across the corporate world. On the flip side, leaders who maintained effective communication skills produced 47% more for shareholders than those who communicated poorly.

How much money can you afford to lose over miscommunication? Wouldn’t you rather think about boosting your profits than worrying about how to unify your team?

Your communication tools just aren’t cutting it. Email is useful but antiquated. Online forums are for hobbyists. And phone systems don’t give you instant and convenient communication.

You could require your whole team to use What’s App, but then how do you keep information secure?

Slack entered the scene in 2014. You thought, maybe this is the solution. Maybe my communication woes are over. But they weren’t. Slack wasn’t everything you hoped. Then the quest for a Slack alternative began and now you’re here. Keep scrolling to find out which one we recommend.

What is Slack and Why You Might Want an Alternative

Slack was supposed to be the chat room for the business world. It’s customizable to a fault. You can organize your team into groups, projects, cliques, you name it.

As an employer or team lead, you control how much team members can customize their groups, their names, their communications. Slack is designed to keep your attention inside its ecosystem as much as possible.

You can share documents, links, sync emails and calendars, and you can integrate it with Google drive. And it’s wildly popular.

Slack is the iPhone of the business communication world. Slackers have likely never tried any other platform, and why would they? If it works, it works, right?

But Slack isn’t perfect. What it does, it does well. But Slack isn’t all that it could be.

Slack Pricing: It Could Be Cheaper

While there is a free option, it’s severely limited. In today’s business atmosphere, you want to communicate with your whole team at once. The free version only allows you to video or voice chat between two users at a time.

If you’re only going to chat through text like you would with Facebook Messenger, then the free tier is fine. But if you’re going to upload anything, you’ll have to buy the next tier. The free tier only allows you to use 5GB of storage across the entire team.

Slack’s free tier also only lets you search up to 10,000 messages back. That seems like a lot, but when your team hits enter after each phrase like we all tend to do, you will only be able to search backward a week or two.

The Standard account costs $80 per person annually or $8 per person per month. This is more expensive than other pure messaging and communication apps at this tier. It does remove some of the restrictions.

File storage is now 10GB per person rather than 5GB across the team. Group calls go up to 15 people and you can search your entire history chat history.

Slack Plus is the top tier. It costs $150 per user per year and it includes everything in the Standard Tier. Storage increases to 20GB per person and you get 24/7 support.

This is all fairly expensive for a glorified version of Google Hangouts.

What’s Wrong With Slack?

If you want a pure communication app that allows you to organize chat groups, then Slack is perfect.

The problem with Slack is that it’s pavlovian. Just like Facebook and Twitter mobile apps, it’s designed to grab your attention and make you impulsively check its feed. There is no easy way to flag messages as priority and thus, a message from a coworker in the “casual” Slack channel notifies you just as fiercely as a message from your boss.

Thus, you might get sucked into a conversation about last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy when you were supposed to be working.

Slack is messy. While you can organize groups by project or search through a channel, you can’t see the big picture of what’s happening with your team. There is no way to see trends across conversations or keep track of all the conversations happening (there are always too many).

5 Alternatives to Slack

If you’re tired of the disorganization in Slack and the lack of priority settings, then a Slack alternative might be right for you. We’ve gathered the best platforms that are more mindful and better organized than Slack. Keep scrolling to see our top five.

1. Bitrix24

bitrix24 as Slack alternative

Bitrix24 is more than just a communication app. It’s a panoply of business collaboration and workflow tools. Inside Bitrix24’s ecosystem, you can quickly switch from email marketing projects to team chats and back again without a fuss.

Within a few minutes, you can shoot off an alert to your whole team, check your lead management tools and then jump into your next project. All of this can be accomplished without leaving the app.

Bitrix 24 is CRM, Project management, communication, marketing management, and so much more all in one place. Instead of a mere chat group tool, Bitrix24 gives its users an Activity stream. This tool allows users an overview of what’s happening with each team they’re involved with and often only requires a click to communicate acknowledgment.

This activity stream gives team members a chance to show involvement and attention without being sucked into irrelevant conversations. Users have more control when they see messages. They can like, follow and unfollow threads, and set message and group priorities.

Bitrix24 includes the same real-time communication tools as Slack and more. Video calls work for up to four people on your browser. There are no plugins required.

You can screen share in HD for incredibly productive conference sessions. And even if you don’t have a high-speed connection, the screen share feature still works in standard definition.

But Wait! There’s More

Would you like a “social network” for just your team? A place where employees can post about ideas and room to workshop solutions? Bitrix24 includes a social network with instant updates, the ability to like posts and tag them and create user groups.

Bitrix24 comes with a free @bitrix24.com email address through their email server and unlimited email storage. Email templates, email marketing tools, and employee email management.

Add this on top of a first-class CRM suite and more collaboration tools than you can handle. This is the best team communication and management tool on the internet.

How Much Does Bitrix24 Cost?

Absolutely free for up to twelve users. The free version gives you the entire suite of tools minus a few project management features.

If you have a larger team, you can sign up for the Standard version. It’s $99 a month for unlimited users. The standard version will give you 100 GB of storage and let you use your own logo.

If you need unlimited storage, time management tools, records management tools, and your own domain name, then sign up for the professional plan. It’s $199 a month for unlimited users.

2. Rocket.Chat

Rocket chat as slack alternative

Rocket.Chat is an open-source chat solution. The creator wanted to make an endlessly customizable version of Slack. This is a chat solution for those who don’t want to be siloed into a product with limited functionality.

To take advantage of the open-source nature of Rocket.Chat, you need to be able to code programs. This doesn’t mean you need programming skills to use Rocket.Chat. It comes loaded with some great features upfront that Slack just doesn’t include.

You can quickly migrate your information from Slack over to Rocket.Chat in a matter of minutes. Soon you’ll be Slacking on Rocket.Chat securely.

But not everything is as it seems with Rocket.Chat. The users complain that customer support help documentation doesn’t compare to other chat software help documentation. This forces users to wait on hold with Rocket.Chat’s limited customer service.

The search feature is buggy. Mobile chat notifications don’t always appear on a user’s phone. And updates will sometimes interrupt your workflow.

Otherwise, for a free, chat-exclusive tool, Rocket.Chat includes some great features Slack lacks. The ability to white-label Rocket.Chat is extremely valuable to teams who want to appear entirely self-sufficient.

What Does Rocket.Chat Cost?

If you want to run Rocket.Chat on your own server and you don’t need all the customer support, then Rocket.Chat is free.

The free Community tier includes a ton of features including white-labeling, up to 1,000 users (more is not recommended), public and private channels, unlimited integrations, mobile and desktop app, custom domain, etc. This is basically Slack’s paid version for free (if you have your own server).

The Pro tier is $3 per user per month or $30 annually per user. It includes a file storage migrate tool, high scalability cluster, analytics reporting, and 24/7 email support and emergency 24/7 phone support.

3. Yammer

Yammer as slack alternative

Yammer is Bitrix24’s Activity Stream without all the other awesome tools Bitrix24 offers. It’s essentially a social media platform for your team.

This program is less of a chat service and more of a message board. What it’s best at is replacing non-urgent company-wide emails and awkward water-cooler announcements. No more neon Comic-Sans from Beth the head receptionist.

Now, you can chat with Yammer. You can create groups and chat within. But this isn’t Yammer’s main purpose.

Why is Yammer a great Slack alternative? It’s easy to use. Employees already spend time on Facebook and Yammer emulates Facebook.

What’s Yammer’s biggest downfall? Lack of extra features and few customizations. No project management, scheduling, analytics, or any other business-related management tools.

If you’re looking for feature-rich, Yammer isn’t your software client. It’s for businesses who primarily used email for communication between employees and teams and want to experiment with other tools.

Navigation is super streamlined and easy to navigate. A stream of content appears on your home page just like most social media platforms and you can like, comment on, or filter stream updates.

When it comes to profiles, Yammer is less flashy than Facebook. This isn’t actually a social network, after all. There is no banner, but there are useful profile data fields which give your fellow employees a snapshot of your skills and interests.

How Much Does Yammer Cost?

The basic account is free. This includes all the features you need to get started. You can even create a group administrator.

The first paid tier is $3 per user per month. This is the Enterprise Network tier and it allows you to create an enterprise administrator. An enterprise admin can change Yammer’s basic configurations and security features. They can add custom usage policies and make network-wide announcements.

4. Google Hangouts Chat

GSuite hangouts chat as slack alternative

Not to be confused with Google Hangouts Classic which was a chat client attached to Gmail, Hangouts Chat is a Slack competitor for businesses. It went out for beta-testing in 2017 and was released publicly at the beginning of 2018.

This isn’t just Hangouts with a few extra emojis. It’s Google’s answer to both Slack and Microsoft Teams. PC Magazine complains that it’s a little more closed-ended than Slack, but that it’s integrations with GSuite make it a nice choice for those who already have a GSuite account.

If you’re already using Google’s tools, you might want to use Google Hangouts Chat. Create groups within the ecosystem and quickly share and collaborate on documents together. It integrates flawlessly with Gmail and gives you access to rooms and direct messages through Gmail.

Hangouts Chat assumes you want privacy when creating rooms or groups. You have to specifically add or invite everyone you want in a room. This could be an inconvenience for those used to Slack where you have the option of creating public or private chat rooms.

Even if you do choose to make a room public, it does not appear automatically for people to join. You would have to send a company-wide email and invite everyone to your Holiday Party chat.

What Does Google Hangouts Chat Cost?

Hangouts Chat is sorta free. You can’t use it unless you have Gsuite which has a basic version for $5 per user per month. There’s a Business tier that’s $10 per user per month and an Enterprise version that’s $25 per user per month.

5. Chanty

Chanty as alternative to Slack

If you’re tired of having to pay to search your message history, Chanty is your alternative to Slack. It’s a Slack clone that adds a few organizational features.

Their Teambook allows you to organize your conversations, tasks, links, and files into folders readily accessible in the menu on the side. If you’ve used Discord, you’ll recognize the UI with its large and colorful icons.

It’s meant for people who don’t want to tinker. But if you want to tinker, Chanty supports a number of integrations.

Unlike other chat platforms, it does not include audio calls.

How Much Does Chanty Cost?

Chanty is free for up to 10 users. This includes all features. If you want to add more users, it’s $3 per user per month.

Don’t Waste Money: Use the Only Slack Alternative

Why would you want to waste any money on miscommunication? You certainly didn’t build your company hoping to experience daily breakdowns in communication, did you?

Why go with the Slack messaging app when you could adopt the largest chest of collaboration tools on the planet? Bitrix24 isn’t just a messaging app or a company-wide social media service. It’s the solution to all your collaboration woes. Sign up for your free account now.

Free. Unlimited. Online.
Bitrix24 is a place where everyone can communicate, collaborate on tasks and projects, manage clients and do much more.