Slack Review: Features, Alternatives & Pricing for 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
Slack is a team chat app offering businesses a centralized platform for messaging, file sharing, and task management. Its virtual spaces enable users to collaborate and share updates in real time. Based on our Slack review, it’s a good fit for businesses looking for extensive third-party integrations for team-based communications and remote collaboration. Overall, it’s a popular messaging app—thanks to its free plan and easy-to-use features.
Slack Review: At a Glance
What We Liked
- Free plan includes file sharing, team messaging, integrations, and 1:1 video calls
- Multiple customization options for alerts, appearance, and applications
- Simplified and intuitive user interface for team messaging and customer communications
- Annual subscription fees are pricier than similar competitors (e.g., Microsoft Teams starts at $4 per user, monthly)
- Maximum audio and video conferencing capacity is limited to 50 participants
- Multiple, simultaneous conversations get buried easily, making it look disorganized and chaotic
When to Use Slack
- Extensive third-party integrations: Slack integrates with over 2,400 applications, including popular solutions like Google Drive, Salesforce, and Trello, putting it on our list of the best team communication apps.
- Solopreneurs and remote teams: Slack’s built-in messaging and voice and video features enable colleagues to coordinate and share files without leaving the platform. It’s our top pick for the best team chat app.
- Chat communications with clients: Slack allows users to invite customers, partners, and suppliers to have conversations even if they’re not part of the group.
When to Use an Alternative
- Large-scale meetings: Slack’s audio and video conversations only accommodate up to 50 people. Consider RingCentral Video, our top video conferencing software, which accommodates up to 200 participants per meeting.
- Budget-conscious startups and freelancers: Slack’s paid subscriptions start at $8.75 monthly per user. Try Microsoft Teams if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative.
- Unlimited chat storage: Unlike Slack’s free version, which only stores and searches for information for the last 90 days, Chanty offers unlimited searchable history on its free plan.
Slack Deciding Factors
Slack is a workplace favorite that boasts extensive integrations that suit businesses of all sizes. It’s highly customizable, allowing users to personalize alerts, pin favorites, and change statuses. Slack has an excellent selection of features, but its free version could offer more capabilities. For example, Microsoft Teams offers unlimited searches on its free plan, while Slack limits its searches to the last 90 days.
Remote and hybrid teams wanting to increase productivity and manage workplace interactions
Pricing Plans (Monthly Billing)
Annual or Volume Discounts Available
Available by request through Slack Support
Slack is an excellent team messaging app that offers extensive third-party integrations and a unified platform for team collaboration. However, Slack’s audio and video conferencing capabilities need improvement, and paid plans are too expensive for businesses on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a team chat app other than Slack, here is a list of the top alternatives:
Microsoft 365 users or budget-conscious businesses needing robust video conferencing tools
Companies wanting complete code customization and scalability
Businesses needing an open-source, self-hosted team chat app with built-in project management capabilities
Monthly Starting Price (per User)
Free or $4 (based on an annual subscription)
Free or $7 (based on a minimum of 25 users)
Free or $10
Wondering how Slack stacks up against other providers? Check out our guide on the best Slack alternatives to find the team messaging and collaboration app that suits your small business needs.
Slack received a score of 4 out of 5 because it offers a free plan, affordable subscription packages, and annual billing discounts but lacks volume-based discounts. There are three Slack pricing plans—a free version and three premium plans, starting at $8.75 per active user on a monthly basis. The freemium version includes 10 integrations and audio and video clips but is limited to 90-day message and file history, one-on-one huddles and messaging, and standard support.
Upgrading to high-tier plans offers core Slack functionality, such as customizable sections, Workflow Builder, screen sharing, and unlimited message history. The Enterprise Grid’s cost depends on the organization’s size, needs, and complexity.
Slack Pricing & Plans
Small teams that need essential team chat functionality
Small to medium-sized businesses needing access to unlimited app integrations
Large companies that need to meet compliance requirements
Complex organizations looking for a custom team messaging solution
Message & File History
Files from the last 90 days
10GB per member
20GB per member
1TB per member
Support for HIPAA Compliance
Voice & Video Calls
Up to 50 participants
Up to 50 participants
Up to 50 participants
Single Sign-on (SSO)
99.99% Uptime SLA (Service Level Agreement)
Slack is a team messaging app that brings all of your work communication into one place. It offers centralized spaces for conversations and comes with automated tools to take charge of routine and repetitive tasks. Plus, it’s easy to use and offers unified communication capabilities, such as messaging, voice, and video. The platform also integrates with thousands of third-party applications, allowing you to save time and streamline daily tasks.
Slack comes with various team collaboration tools that help facilitate online communication. These include channels, built-in file uploads, audio conferencing, and video conferencing. The platform also integrates with industry-leading business applications, such as Trello, Zendesk, and Google Workspace.
Here is a Slack features list for you to consider:
- Collaboration channels
- Slack Connect for external partners
- Team messaging and chat
- Extensive integrations
- Workflow builder
- File and message search
- File sharing
- Enterprise key management
- Data encryption
In this Slack review, the provider received a nearly perfect score because of its unlimited file and message search, guest access, and robust integrations. It failed to get a perfect score because advanced task management features are only available through third-party integrations. Slack’s security features, which include data encryption at rest and in transit, are available in all plans, and users on the enterprise plan get support for HIPAA compliance.
Click on each feature below to learn more about Slack’s top niche offerings:
Channels are a signature Slack feature that serves as a dedicated space where team members hold conversations about a specific project or team topic. In every Slack channel, messages are organized into threads in which participants share files, tag each other, and use emojis to make conversations more engaging. All the messages and files in a channel are searchable and saved, while the search function allows you to find conversations from any channel.
Automate repetitive tasks and processes using Slack’s Workflow Builder. It allows users to create a custom workflow for routine tasks, such as collecting time-off requests, onboarding new members, and gathering feedback. The Workflow Builder happens in channels or third-party applications and allows you to structure the workflow without writing a single line of code.
Streamline workflows and processes by integrating your top business tools with Slack. The Slack App Directory offers over 2,500 applications, including popular software like Zoom, Google Drive, Zapier, and Salesforce. If you can’t find what you need, Slack allows users to build custom apps that integrate with their own solutions, with or without code.
We rated Slack a 4.69 out of 5 on customer service because it operates multiple support avenues, such as phone, email, and chat. It offers customer support during extended business hours—Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Central Time. Slack also has a knowledge base and help center where users can access articles and videos for tailored support.
Each plan has different levels of support, and 24/7 support with a response time of fewer than four hours or less only unlocks at the top two tiers.
Slack earned a score of 4.13 out of 5 for ease of use because it’s easy to set up and does not require technical know-how to operate. Its mobile application works much like the desktop version. It missed out on a perfect score because while it’s simple to set up, users indicate that the simultaneous conversations are sometimes difficult to keep up with, especially if you’re a part of multiple channels.
Most Slack reviews reveal that it’s an easy-to-use and reliable team messaging platform for remote and hybrid work environments. Many users appreciate its ability to integrate with several industry-leading apps and project management systems, eliminating the need to switch windows. Users also praised the platform’s conversational channels for keeping team communication organized and distinct.
At the time of publication, Slack earned the following scores on popular review sites:
- Capterra: 4.7 out of 5 based on 22,818 reviews
- Gartner: 4.5 out of 5 based on 6,356 reviews
- TrustRadius: 9 out of 10 based on 6,965 reviews
- GetApp: 4.7 out of 5 based on 22,800-plus reviews
- G2: 4.5 out of 5 based on 30,881 reviews
On the downside, some users complained about its storage limitations and the lack of control over the notifications settings. Others also mentioned they encountered connection problems and audio issues using the Slack Huddles feature. Despite these drawbacks, many businesses continue using Slack because of its simplified messaging platform and built-in collaboration tools like file sharing.
How We Evaluated Slack
To evaluate Slack, we focused on the six critical considerations of small businesses when choosing a team messaging and collaboration platform, which include pricing and general features. The feedback of verified users on third-party sites was part of our research to understand better how Slack works.
Learn how we evaluated Slack by clicking on the tabs below:
20% of Overall Score
We checked if Slack offers a free plan and discounts for annual billing and volume-based usage. We also looked at the affordability of its subscription plans compared to other providers offering similar services.
25% of Overall Score
We looked at Slack capabilities vis-a-vis general team collaboration features, such as internal messaging, file storage, and video and audio conferencing capabilities. We give more points to providers offering mobile applications for mobility and increased productivity.
20% of Overall Score
Our evaluation of general features considers the availability of advanced file search tools, task management, and integrations. The provider was given more points if it offered guest access and robust third-party software integrations.
10% of Overall Score
We checked the customer support channels available to users. Standard modalities include live chat, phone, and email support. Higher points are given if the provider offers 24/7 customer service to all customers.
10% of Overall Score
We looked at how easy it is to set up the system and whether users need technical expertise to use it. We also evaluated the intuitiveness of the platform’s interface.
15% of Overall Score
To come up with the expert score, key factors include our evaluation of the provider’s ease of use and popularity. We also included our expert opinion on its value for money and standout features based on reviews of Slack.
Slack is a feature-rich team messaging app that allows users to share files, collaborate with teams, and automate routine tasks. Overall, Slack is the best fit for hybrid and remote work environments to help teams stay in sync wherever they are. Its channels provide a dedicated space to speed up communications with coworkers and people outside your company. Sign up for Slack’s free version today and see if it suits your business needs.