Image of Workchats

Recently, there has been an emphasis on Slack alternatives for team communication. The reason is that team chats, like Slack, forget that “less is more.”

Slack is known for its top-notch functionality and versatility, however, with a continuous path of innovation, Slack can seem a bit overwhelming. Aside from the neverending features of Slack, the monthly cost to have an account also builds up. For Slack Standard, it is $6.67 monthly, and for the Plus version, it is $12.50 monthly. Further, Slack only offers third party file storage and task management. With AirSend, we have a built-in file-storage and task management. To see how AirSend is an alternative to Slack, read our blog post.

We realized that Slack is not for everyone. And because of this, we realized that there is a market for team chats that are more affordable, simple, easy-to-use, and versatile. That is why we made AirSend.

AirSend is a perfect team chat app that not only allows you to have seamless conversations, but also to share/organize files, track your to-do’s, and keep notes. 

AirSend logo
Capture of AirSend

Though we like to think we are the best, we also take the time to acknowledge our competitors who also deliver. Here is a list of our seven best alternatives to Slack:

  1. AirSend
  2. Discord
  3. Microsoft Teams
  4. Mattermost
  5. Zulip
  6. Riot.im
  7. Rocket.Chat

In this blog post, we will discuss specific features and functions, pricing tiers, and the pros and cons of each platform. Without further ado, let’s dive into the seven best alternatives to Slack. 

AirSend

AirSend homepage
Capture of AirSend’s Homepage

Of course, AirSend is at the top of the list. It would be weird if we didn’t believe that our product was the best alternative to Slack.

One of the selling points to AirSend is its seamless communication. This feature is designed to make your life easier. We do that by allowing you to switch from channel to channel without ever having to leave your current tab.

Having seamless conversations also allows you and your clients to continuously stay in the loop. Whereas with Slack, you need to have an account for each team you are in, AirSend is an open network. In other words, AirSend requires only one sign-up. You can now also sign up with your Google account.

Pros to AirSend

As said before, AirSend allows for easy seamless communication. Compared to Slack which only allows 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages, AirSend’s message history is unlimited.

AirSend combines the attributes of our competitors with a clean and simple UI design. We replace Slack, Microsoft Teams, GDrive, Todoist, and Trello all together. Best of all, if you sign up now, you can get AirSend Pro free for one year!

Cons to AirSend

AirSend is still in its beta stages. Because AirSend is still in development, there will be consistent updates and added features to the product.

Discord

Discord Philosophize This channel
Capture of Discord Channel

Discord is a great platform that enables all-in-one voice and text chat. Slack and Discord carry almost the same UI design, so if you are looking for a “busy” design, Discord may be a good option for you. Further, the selling point to Discord is that they give you full control over your server.

Pricing

Another benefit is that Discord is free.

There is also a Discord Nitro in which you get more customizations than you would with the free version.

Customizations can range from animated emojis, and creating a unique tag for your profile. Annually, Discord Nitro is $99.99. Monthly it is $9.99.

Finally, there is Discord Nitro Classic, which has everything the Nitro plan has, except for a Server Boost. Annually it is $49.99, and monthly it is $4.99. 

Pricing aside, the great thing with Discord is that it does not carry the overwhelming functionalities of Slack. 

Discord Nitro page
Capture of Discord Nitro

Pros to Discord

Like AirSend, users with Discord can seamlessly switch between private and public channels. Discord also does not offer integration with apps you might use for work.

But if your team only uses text, voice, or video conferencing, you should be fine. Lastly, Discord is the only chat in this list that offers push-to-talk features, along with an instant invite link. 

Cons to Discord

Discord is great for team communication. Additionally, with a busy UI design, you feel like you are doing more with less functionality. However, it is important to remember that Discord is specifically meant for gamers. So, the UI will be more complex than what the average business chat needs.

Lastly, like Slack,  the noise-to-signal ratio is extremely high with Discord. Because of this, distractions can happen and important information can get buried among the chatter. 

Microsoft Teams

Promo image of Microsoft Teams on laptop and smart phone
Capture of Microsoft Teams

One of the biggest selling points to Microsoft Teams is the smooth integration of Office 365. This becomes useful if you depend on Office 365 for your daily tasks.  Furthermore, Microsoft Teams is great for keeping all your team’s chats, meetings, files, and other apps together in one place.

Pricing

When it comes down to pricing, Microsoft Teams can be a little daunting. The free version of Teams allows chat and collaborations. However, under the free plan, there are partially included essentials, such as:

  • meetings and calls
  • productivity apps and services
  • security and compliance. 
  • Limited storage: 2GB per user and a total of 10 GB is shared among your team. 

There is also a $5 monthly plan that is not much different from the free version, except an increase in storage (1 TB per user). Finally, there is the $12.50 monthly plan. This plan includes everything.

Pros to Microsoft Teams

As said before the great thing with Teams is that it allows for smooth integration of Office 365. The UI is very similar to Slack and they even offer the same functions and capabilities.

Users have the capability to edit, delete, and pin messages. Users can also create a new thread and share files, provided it fits with the limited storage. 

Cons to Microsoft Teams

There is plenty of room for Microsoft Teams to grow. After thorough research of use cases and reviews, there are many aspects where Microsoft Teams is still lacking. Some use cases have mentioned that setting up the app was not an easy task.

Additionally, users must set up a unique email for each user in their team. Microsoft Teams also does not support drag and drop functions.

Lastly, if you are wanting to look for a team chat platform with integrations, Slack would be the choice. But if integrations do not matter, and you use Office 365 daily, Microsoft Teams is the go-to choice. 

Mattermost

MatterMost main channel view
Capture of Mattermost

Mattermost is a wonderful communication tool to have that is specifically designed for having a  private cloud and an opened-sourced channel.

Like Slack, Mattermost targets large enterprises. However, unlike Slack, Mattermost implements self-hosting capabilities. With self-hosting capabilities, users can have greater control over privacy and security. 

Pricing

Luckily, before fully committing to Mattermost, there is a 30-day free trial. With the E10 edition (basic) and a minimum of 10 users, the price is $39 per user. Annually making it $390.

There is also an E20 edition, which is an advanced enterprise edition that roughly charges $8.50 monthly.

Because the E20 edition is made for larger corporations, you must get a quote from Mattermost before continuing to pay. To see what each plan offers, click here.

Pros to Mattermost

Though MatterMost is more expensive than Slack, Mattermost offers premium control over privacy and security.

Additionally, you can run the messaging platform behind your organization’s firewall.

The way we see it, Mattermost is a great alternative to Slack if your organization is large enough to have or require self-hosted team messaging. 

Cons to Mattermost

Now, with all the positives said, I am sure you are wondering why Mattermost is not above Microsoft Teams. Well, for the specific cons we are about to mention, Microsoft Teams has. 

Mattermost lacks video and audio conferencing, and users cannot share screens. With Mattermost’s almost overwhelming design, the UX becomes difficult to maneuver. After researching some alternatives Mattermost had to these cons, we believe that aside from AirSend’s built-in wiki capability, Microsoft Teams would be the better choice.

With team chat software there should be an emphasis on various mediums of communications. These mediums should offer text, audio, and video, or a greater alternative should one of these mediums be absent.

Hangouts Chat and Meet

Hangouts Chat Main Channel view
Capture of Hangouts Chat

The selling point: Hangouts Chat offers virtual rooms that can hold up to 8,000 people. Further, like Slack, users can create threaded conversations, and bots that can integrate with G Suite and other third-party platforms.

Hangouts Chat is much like Microsoft Teams in that Hangouts Chat is deeply integrated with the G Suite Package. The perks to this are being able to view files directly from Drive and Docs directly in conversations. 

Pricing

Because Hangouts Chat and Meet are integrated with GSuite, you have to pay for the GSuite Plans.

The basic plan is $6 monthly, per user, with the main limitation of 30 GB to your Google Drive.

The next plan is Business, which is $12 monthly, per user and an unlimited Google Drive Space.

Finally, there is the Enterprise plan, which is $25 monthly, per user.

Pros to Hangouts Chat and Meet

Like Slack, Hangouts Chat offers dedicated space for group conversations. Unlike Slack, each room in Hangouts Chat is private by default. This means that you have control over who you can invite to your room. 

There is also the smart reply feature like that of what you see in your Gmail. The biggest pro, however, is that Hangouts Chat is deeply integrated with GSuite.

There is also an app called Hangouts Meet. This app is made for video calls. The Hangout Meet offers a bot that integrates directly with your Google Calendar to schedule meetings for you.

 Cons to Hangouts Chat and Meet

Though Hangouts Chat supports integrations, they do not support the same amount of integrations that Slack has. Several users fear that Google will shut down apps that are often used. Due to this fear, users lack the assurance or trust in Google.

Furthermore, there are no notification settings specific to rooms. Though Hangouts Chat and Meet do not offer all the integrations that Slack has to offer, Hangouts Chat is easier to use. Lastly, Hangouts Chat and Meet are two separate apps, so when trying to find an all-in-one workspace, Hangouts Chat and Meet may not be suitable.

If you have GSuite, Hangouts Chat and Meet are perfect to use. 

Riot.im

Riot.im main channel view
Capture of Riot.im

The selling point for Riot.im is that they are an open-source, interoperable collaboration app. Don’t panic! There is nothing complicated about this. Matter of fact,  this just means that Riot.im has the capability to build bridges with users who use other team chat apps. They are currently running on Web, iOS, and Android. 

Pricing

IT’S FREE! Riot.im is currently free, with future plans to have paid, hosted accounts.

Pros to Riot.im

The major pro is that Riot.im can connect to other chat teams, such as Slack, Gitter, IRC, Twitter, and SMS. The other positive is that Riot.im gives you the option to host your own open-source servers

Cons to Riot.im

Riot.im lacks other tools needed to make a successful team chat software. While the feature of building bridges to other team chat software is certainly a game-changer, Riot.im lacks the ability to have integrated task management and built-in notes.

In terms of integrations and features, Slack has more to offer.

However, if you are looking for something simple and clean, then Riot.im is worth a shot.

Rocket.Chat

Rocket.chat promo image on laptop and smartphone
Image of Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is an open-source team chat software.  With a similar Slack UI design, Rocket.Chat carries seamless conversations, along with a full range of customization. They also carry the similar function of making public and private channels. 

Pricing

Rocket.Chat has umbrella pricing. What we mean by this is that they carry two major plans, and underneath those plans are the subscribed plans.

The first plan we will go over is the Self-Managed plan, in which you can host your own channels. 

  • Self-Managed Plan
    • Community Version is Free
    • Pro Plan- $30, per user, annually; $3 per user, monthly
    • Enterprise Plan:  Quote

The next major plan is the SaaS plan, which is a cloud offering hosted by Rocket.Chat

  • SaaS Plan
    • Bronze Plan: $20 per user, annually; $2 per user, monthly
    • Silver Plan: $40 per user, annually; $4 per user, monthly
    • Gold Plan: Quote
    • Each plan requires a minimum of 10 users

Pros to Rocket.Chat

One of the cool things with Rocket.Chat is that you can easily migrate and export files.

There is also real-time automatic translation, end-to-end encryption, LiveChat, and endless customization.

Cons to Rocket.Chat

Though having an open server is great, the maintenance to one is not that easy. Having your own open server means you also have to manage your own backups, security, and knowing how to fix things in case of failure. And if you’re not that tech-savvy, Rocket.Chat may not be a good fit for you.

But there is no need to worry! If Rocket.Chat is not a good tool for you, there is six other alternative team chat software that would certainly able to adhere to your needs.

Results

Our goal with AirSend is to do less with more. Our mission is to be the #1 team chat tool. 

We want to deliver a team chat platform that allows you to take care of all your business needs in one place. A platform that delivers maximum productivity. 

We use AirSend as our digital workspace for our marketing team. Even though AirSend is our product, we sincerely believe that AirSend can help your team too. Give us a try and let us know what you think!

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.