What is Slack and why is it so popular with teams and small businesses?
Slack officially launched in 2014 as a side-project from Flickr cofounder Stewart Butterfield. When Fast Company spoke with Butterfield the next year, the service had 500,000 daily users. Now, it has more than 6 million daily users with at least 3 million more using it every week. Despite ongoing competition from Facebook Workplace, Google Hangouts, and Atlassian, 43 percent of Fortune 100 companies are still using Slack, and unlike many of its competitors, Slack is making money from its more than 2 million paid users.
What is Slack? Slack is where work happens. It’s a digital workspace that powers your organization — all the pieces and the people — so you can get things done.
Your Slack workspace is the digital space you and your teammates share to communicate and get work done. If you’re part of a small to medium-sized company, you and your fellow co-workers will likely all be members of one Slack workspace. If you’re part of a larger organization — possibly comprised of many locations, people, and sub-groups — you may have multiple interconnected Slack workspaces. Each workspace is independent, but all are interconnected and powered through Slack’s Enterprise Grid (paid).
Your Slack workspace is comprised of channels. You’ll use channels to hold most of your conversations with other members. They can be organized around anything — departments, projects, or even office locations — and you can create as many as you need.
What makes Slack unique from normal instant messengers like WhatsApp is that its channels are easier to use when the numbers start growing. Also, it runs across all platforms and devices (unlike WhatsApp) and you don't need a mobile device to use it. Its other big differentiation is its integration with 3rd parties such as Trello, Google Drive, Twitter, Wunderlist, Dropbox, IFTTT, RSS, MS OneDrive, ZenDesk, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx, To-do, Skype, appear.in, etc.
On the cost front, Slack s free for individuals and small businesses to use. The key limitations of the free account are:
* Only search up to last 10,000 messages
* Up 10 apps and integrations
* One-to-One video calls only
* 5GB storage total
Unlimited apps and integrations, unlimited search, 10GB storage per member, video calls up to 15 members, screen sharing are going to set you back $6.67pm per active user.
Which brings me to free and opensource alternatives to Slack.... such as:
* Let's Chat - can be self-hosted http://sdelements.github.io/lets-chat/
* Mattermost - can import from Slack http://www.mattermost.org/
* Rocket.Chat - https://rocket.chat/
* Riot.im - web hosted (ready to use) and interconnects with other services (even Slack) https://about.riot.im/
See more about Slack at https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/115004071768-What-is-Slack-
|What is Slack?
We’re glad you asked! Slack is where work happens. It’s a digital workspace that powers your organization — all the pieces and the people — so you can get things done.