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Slack vs. Teams: How to Choose in the Efficient collaboration Battle [2022]
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Slack vs. Teams: How to Choose in the Efficient collaboration Battle [2022]

Michael DamSep 20, 202214 mins
Overall comparison: Slack vs. Teams

Regarding Slack vs. Teams, there has been a battle for the top spot in the collaboration tool space ever since Microsoft announced the entry of the Teams app. This introduction was after Slack took the communication and innovative meetings age by storm when it first appeared in the collaboration tools market. 

In this article, delve into an extensive study of how Microsoft Teams vs. Slack perform in each category. We will segment each class into the differences, pros, cons, and a brief recap of the first three segments. 

These categories include

  • User interface

  • Communication 

  • Notification 

  • Collaboration

  • Audio/video calls

  • Search 

  • Storage 

  • Bots

  • Integration 

  • Security and pricing

  • Pricing plans

  • Market share

  • Shortcuts and productivity

  • support

Finally, we will conclude on Slack vs. Teams by indicating the overall score for each application. 

Let's begin.


Overall comparison: Slack vs. Teams

 

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack is one of the most heated debates in the current collaboration tools market. 

Slack is a cloud-based communication and collaborative tool that aids businesses in minimizing the sharing of emails with third-party clients and their internal communication. It also provides users with instant messaging to boost their communication. 

Moreover, the Slack app is an effective task management tool that allows for quickly sharing files. Its integration capabilities, with more than 2,300 other apps, also add to this effectiveness.

On the other hand, Teams is a cloud-based collaboration platform within the Microsoft 365 suite. Its core features are: 

  • VoIP (voice over internet protocol)

  • Video conferencing capabilities

  • File upload and sharing

  • Business Messaging

  • Interactable to other Microsoft services and products like Microsoft cloud, calendar, and email 

Here is a summary table for the battle between Slack vs. Teams to give a quick overview of what each app offers to its user(s):

Features Microsoft Teams Slack
User interface Simple layout providing basic customization A neat and straightforward layout
Communication Offers customizable formats in terms of messaging, threads, and mentions Facilities standard formatting of threads, mentions, and messages
Notificaiton Doesn’t support the muting of messages Supports the muting of messaging
Collaboration Offers multiple features A simplistic approach to collaboration
Users WAllows for more than 100 users to attend a call A maximum of 15 unless they use third-party integrations to increase the allowed number
Search A search console with the availability of using the advanced search options The same
Storage Provides secure file-sharing service with a cloud-storage service Doesn’t facilitate secure file sharing, and the cloud-storage service is only available by using third-party apps
Bots Users need to integrate before they can use them Dedicated bots already in place for use
Integration Over 600 integration apps Over 2,300 integration apps
Security and privacy Numerous security features, especially for the paid versions, but no option to self-shot them The same
Pricing Plans Free and several paid plans with an option of free trials A free plan and several paid plans
Shortcuts Only a pop-up list of shortcuts A side reference list of all keyword shortcuts
Support It provides support, but the bot needs manual adding Provides support with the inclusion of a bot to aid the support process


Comparing the Different Categories of the Battle In-Depth

In this section, we shall investigate the various categories of how these two collaborative tools fair in a series of classes. The analysis will be in-depth in terms of their difference, pros, and cons, finalized with a brief recap of each category's words for each app.

As you read this section, you will notice that there isn't always a clear winner in the Microsoft Teams vs. Slack battle. In some categories, the two apps do not differ, in others, the collaboration tools offer the same benefits, or the software is lacking in their difference. 

Use the information in these categories to determine which app will be better suited to employ as one of the collaborative tools in your organization, company, or business. 


Slack vs. Teams: User Interface and usability

Due to their exceptional ease of use, both Slack and Microsoft Teams software are an excellent choice for any organization that needs remote working tools for seamless collaboration. Nonetheless, these two apps have a similar user interface design. 

Slack has all the messages, threads, and channels on the left side, usually color-coded in purple. On its right-hand side, it contains the conversations the user wishes to engage in or view. 

Slack user interface obtained from a blog post

The classifying of messages into threads makes it easier for remote teams to collaborate quicker and easier. Moreover, Slack user can customize their notifications and themes to their liking. 

On the other hand, the Microsoft Teams user interface is quite like that of the Slack app. 

 Microsoft Teams user interface obtained from Sherweb.com

The left side is for conversations where users quickly exchange messages and files with other users. 

Likewise, it has meetings, activities, files, messages, and channels on the right side. Additionally, one can access the Microsoft calendar from the right-hand side.

  • Differences

Microsoft Teams organizes its chat, files, messages, activity, and teams into tabs. Similarly, Slack organizes its communication into channels. It also offers more customizable features as compared to Microsoft Teams customizing features.

  • Pros 

Slack allows users to set up the user interface with their preferred skins: It facilitates changing the theme as it suits them. 

The integration of apps is also simple and quick, thus increasing its extensibility. Moreover, Slack has an intelligent search function:

  • Facilitates a fast way of locating files needed by a user

  • Allows for a quick way to start a new conversation or channel

On the other hand, Teams seamlessly works with the rest of the Microsoft productivity ecosystem. 

  • Cons 

Microsoft Teams provides only three customizable options to its users. 

  • Recap 

Slack is the better option in this fight since it offers more customization options than Microsoft Teams. 


Slack vs. Teams: Communication

In terms of communication, Slack vs. Teams offers communication over private and shared channels. They also provide instant messaging accompanied by notification. 

Slack is an excellent enabler of asynchronous communication as it allows one to

  • Schedule the sending of messages

  • Set reminders

  • Save, pin, or delete messages

  • Change questions into polls

  • Differences 

Slack offers more variety in that a user can set up the interface messages. Its message board has a dark and light theme: Its sidebar is also customizable to compliment the theme of one choosing.  

  • Pros

Slack offers more customizable features for its message user interface. Besides, one can mention users using the '@' symbol; use group and thread chats; and react, pin, edit and delete messages as they please. 

Microsoft Teams app offers advanced formatting in mentions, messaging, and threads. New users can create customized memes using the 'Sticker' option. It also gives its users access to a library of searchable GIFs they can use when messaging. Finally, it has a variety of text fonts with an option to highlight keywords or color any selected texts.

Remember, Microsoft Teams offers unlimited chat history for free with an option to translate the chats if the user works with a cross-cultural team. 

  • Cons 

The slack app tends to limit conversation: more than 15 people can't hold a virtual web conferencing meeting. It is also hard to integrate emoji and sticker-generating apps. Moreover, the user needs to know and understand the slash commands for integrating the apps into Slack. 

One con of Microsoft Teams is that it only provides three pre-set theme settings: light, high contrast, and dark. Another is that Teams doesn't offer threads for one-on-one conversations, only in channels. 

  • Recap 

Slack has better customizations as compared to Teams. However, Teams enables quicker use of emojis and GIFs with more flexibility in messaging, threads, and mention formatting. 


Slack vs. Teams: Notifications

For those people who prefer to have their work uninterrupted, notifications can be a nightmare. 

Slack is at the forefront of finding a balance between ensuring users stay in touch with their teammates and focusing on work through minimal notification disruptions. 

Slack notification settings page

With the notifications setting panel on Slack, you can control the type of notifications you receive

  • Differences

The Slack app has a Do Not Disturb (DNS) button whereby the user can customize a period of not receiving notification alerts from the app. Likewise, in Microsoft Teams, users can set their mobile application to have quiet hours over the weekend or after hours. 

  • Pros

With Slack, users can choose the type of notifications to receive on their desktop, email, and mobile. They can also control what notifications they receive from messages, channels, or threads. Ultimately, a Do Not Disturb mode is only a click away.

Microsoft Teams offers an option of setting quiet hours on the mobile gadget for over the weekend or after hours. 

Quiet hours settings in Microsoft Teams

  • Cons

Notifications of Microsoft Teams are not as advanced as in Slack. Nevertheless, a user on the Teams app gets notifications via:

  • A chat feed for notifications about one-on-one conversations and groups

  • An activity feed that shows what's happening across the user's channels and teams

  • Banner/desktop notifications that appear somewhere on the screen depending on the user's operating system settings

  • Recap 

Slack wins this round due to its extensive notification panel configuration. 


Slack vs. Teams: Collaboration

Microsoft teams and the Slack software allows users to host one-on-one web conferencing calls.

  • Differences 

Slack offers a more simplistic approach to collaboration than the Teams app. Also, the Teams software offers multiple call features, unlike the Slack software, which relies on integrating other apps to enhance the call features experience. 

  • Pros 

Temas offers an enhanced user experience due to its usability with the Microsoft Office 365 apps within teams. In other words, users don't have to leave the app to share or view document files.

  • Cons 

A user must first download a shared video file on Slack before viewing it.

  • Recap 

Slack suits better with smaller companies while Teams is more suitable for larger companies. This suitability is because Microsoft Teams offers more collaborative capabilities than Slack. 


Slack vs. Teams: Audio/Video calls

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack offers audio and video calls in both mobile and desktop apps. 

  • Differences 

Slack needs third-party apps to enhance its capabilities of web conferencing. Contrary, Microsoft Teams app works effectively on its own when providing web-conferencing services. 

  • Pros 

Microsoft Teams app allows a maximum of 100 users in their free subscription and 300 users for the paid plan to attend the web conferencing meeting(s). It also allows the user to record the discussions and access the recordings with an option to share them.  

Slack, on the other hand, allows for the integration of the app with other video conferencing apps so that the user doesn't have to leave the Slack interface as they make or attend a web conference. For paid subscribers, users can share their screens with other attendees. 

  • Cons 

Slack only allows one-on-one video and audio meetings for the basic subscribers and a maximum of 15 simultaneous users on a web conferencing call.

  • Recap  

Microsoft Teams wins here quickly because it allows 100 attendees on Teams calls, and that's for the free plan. Slack only offers a maximum of 15 simultaneous users, and that's for its paid plan. 


Slack vs. Teams: Search

The search box is quite a vital tool for avoiding information overload while maintaining user productivity when the user searches for specific people, messages, or files in a time-pressing situation. 

  • Differences

Both apps have a search bar console with various advanced search options. In other words, one can search for channels, one-on-one chats, messages, teams, and group chats.

Search console of the Slack app

  • Pros 

Searching for information, files, channels, people, or specific words is quick and advanced in both apps. Furthermore, the two apps have an advanced feature option that enables users to quickly search for information, messages, files, or channels. 

So, if a user is in time-pressing situations, they can avoid information overload as they quickly search, aiding them in maintaining their productivity due to reduced search disruptions. 

  • Cons

In the Slack app, you cannot save the search results permanently. Thu,s one has to search for the content whenever they want to retrieve it. 

A message search saved in Microsoft Teams software

  • Recap

Regarding the search console, both apps get a head-to-head rating as they provide the users with the option of the advanced search, thus aiding them in staying on top of their content. 


Slack vs. Teams: Storage 

The Microsoft Teams vs. Slack offers storage but in different capacities. 

  • Differences 

Slack has a free plan that only allows 5 GB of storage for one team, and the Microsoft Teams app offers a free plan- for users up to 10 GB.

File storage in Slack

Both apps also offer a stretchable storage capacity of up to 1 TB. However, Teams provides this stretch of the entire organization while Slack only offers it for one user. 

File storage in Microsoft Teams

  • Pros

Teams' users get unlimited messaging on top of being able to view uploaded videos in Teams immediately. Additionally, the storage is for the entire organization. Microsoft Teams also offers file permissions and a cloud-storage service that comes in handy if a third party wants to access the files. 

  • Cons 

The free plan on Slack only allows a maximum storage capacity of 10,000 messages in its message history database.  

  • Recap  

Microsoft offers double the storage capacity as Slack for its free plan subscribers. Moreover, it provides 1 TB of expanded storage for paid subscribers, unlike Slack which only offers it to one user. Moreover, third parties can access the documents if they have the proper identification protocols. 


Slack vs. Teams: Bots 

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack enables automation using bots for shortcuts. 

  • Differences 

While Slack has a dedicated bot automatically included in every workspace, 

Slack bot

Microsoft Teams app allows the use of bots through integrations. 

Microsoft Teams bot

  • Pros 

The Slackbot helps set reminders and alerts on top of aiding answer questions using Slack. Furthermore, users can set predetermined answers for work-related queries. Finally, the Slackbot is also pairable with other integrations to assist in streamlining some essential workflows. 

Similarly, the Microsoft Teams app has an option to integrate different types of bots like:

  • Chatbot: gives information by what the user asks

  • Workbot: notifies one of the actions that happen in the integrated apps

  • Whobot: helps users find web conferencing participants through a skill set on top of providing information about the meeting attendees 

  • Cons 

The Teams bots are not automatic; therefore, they must be set up before using them. 

  • Recap 

Slack has a designated bot that aids in automating workflow, while Teams does not have one. Hence, a Teams user needs to select a specific bot from a list of integrations to automate their errands. 


Slack vs. Teams: Integrations 

Third-party integrations are great for enhancing the work experience of collaborating teams. 

  • Differences

Slack vs. Teams are compatible with many available operating systems (OS) like Android, Mac, Windows, and iOS. However, Slack is available for the Linux OS, while Microsoft Teams is incompatible. 

  • Pro

Slack allows for integrating more than 2,000 apps, including time tracking software, Office 365 apps, and the entire Google Workspace. 

Slack's third-party app directory

Likewise, Microsoft teams allow the integration of the Office 365 app. 

  • Cons

The number of integrations allowed on Teams is lower, at over 700, compared to the Slack integration capabilities.

Microsoft Teams integration

  • Recap 

Slack takes the throne here because it offers four times the amount of integrating apps than Teams. Moreover, Slack allows the integration of Microsoft Office 365 products. 


Slack vs. Teams: Security & Privacy

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack enables data encryption, offers two-factor authentication, and holds compliance certifications like ISO/IEC 27001 and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

  • Differences 

Unlike the Slack app, Microsoft Teams provides extensive admin controls to its user(s), allowing them to modify owner, member, file, and SharePoint permissions. 

  • Pros 

Teams provide numerous advanced administration options for IT managers who wish to comply with company policies and regulations. All subscription plans for Teams offer the highest level of commitment to compliance by making all security services available.  

Security, compliance, and privacy in Microsoft Teams

The Teams app also allows admin controls on a granular level where admins have the privilege of controlling various permissions on members, files, owners, and SharePoint. Finally, Teams offers controls over data governance and data loss prevention. This control applies to files and chats content within teams.

On the other hand, Slack allows the user to request HIPAA compliance (Health Insurance Probability and Accountability Act). Nonetheless, the app is compliant with the basic ISO certifications. 

Privacy and visibility in the Slack app

  • Cons 

The Slack app-only offers some administrative security add-ons for the paid plan subscribers. Contrary, Microsoft Teams provides those measures for even the basic subscribers. 

Nevertheless, both apps advocate for users to pay more if they'd want more security for these collaborative tools.

Lastly, both apps, even with paid-price plans, lack self-hosting options. 

  • Recap

When it comes to security and compliance measures, Slack vs. Teams is very serious about them. In this round, Microsoft Teams wins due to its slight advantage of protection to the user(s).


Slack vs. Teams: Pricing plans

Slack vs. Teams offers a variety of subscription plans. Here are the screenshots for Microsoft Teams pricing plans and the pricing plans for Slack, respectively:

Microsoft Teams Pricing Plans

M

Slack Pricing Plans

  • Differences 

Though both apps offer free and paid plans, the Teams' paid program starts from $4 per month/user while the Slack paid plan starts from $6.67 per month/user. 

  • Pros

Both apps offer free and pricing plans that affect the number of available features for use. However, the Teams free goal is more generous than Slack regarding screen sharing, unlimited chat history, and more storage.

  • Cons 

The free pricing plans for both apps only offer users limited features. Furthermore, the Slack app is unsuitable for businesses that rely on asynchronous communication, yet they are using Slack's free plan, which has little storage room and message history. 

  • Recap 

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack offers free and varying paid pricing plans to the user(s). The user will have to decide on the type of plan to subscribe to depending on their needs. 

Nonetheless, Microsoft Teams up takes this comparison battle. This win is due to its cheaper paid subscriptions offering more features compared to the more expensive Slack pricing plans. Moreover, the free paid plan for teams is way better when compared to that of Slack.  


Slack vs. Teams: Shortcuts

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack has various shortcuts that help speed up communication while boosting accessibility. Below are screenshots of the apps' shortcuts respectively:

Slack app shortcuts for iOS

  • Differences 

Though Slack vs. Teams has shortcuts, the Teams app shortcuts are only accessible through a list. 

  • Pros 

Slack contains an advanced search option that users can utilize to find important messages rapidly. Moreover, users can use the 'has' search parameter to search by an emoji: This feature has the advantage of allowing users to find priority messages with specific emojis. 

  • Cons 

Microsoft Teams app keyboard shortcuts tend to hamper productivity. This hampering is due to the limitation of remembering, checking, and executing a list's shortcut(s). Nevertheless, no sidebar reference can aid in speeding up the process. 

Though the Teams app shortcuts work as a function, they are not ergonomic in terms of usage. 

  • Recap 

While the Microsoft Teams app offers only a pop-up list of shortcuts, Slack provides a sidebar reference list of all keyword shortcuts for the Slack app. 


Slack vs. Teams: Support

Both apps provide technical support to their users. 

  • Differences

Despite the two apps providing support to their users, Microsoft Teams doesn't have a dedicated bot like the Slack bot to help in the support realm. 

Slack support

  • Pros

Both apps have a comprehensive help center that provides extensive knowledge and valuable tips to aid the user in navigating the apps. 

Microsoft Teams customer support

  • Cons

Users need to subscribe to the paid pricing plan to access live support. 

Moreover, Microsoft Teams does not have a bot feature installed automatically like Slack, and the user must add the bot feature manually. 

  • Recap

Slack wins this round due to its bot feature. 


Signing off on Which is the Better Collaborative App

Knowing what to choose in the Microsoft Teams vs. Slack analysis can be challenging and exhausting. The need to cross off all points in your collaborative app checklist further exacerbates this gruesome process. 

Hence, it is better to have an open mind while remembering you have the liberty to switch to the competitor if you feel the app you chose isn't meeting your expectations. 

In that regard, let's look at the table that shows how Slack vs. Teams faired in each category:

Features Slack Microsoft Teams
User interface 0 1
Communication 1 1
Notificaiton 0 1
Collaboration 1 0
Audio/video files 1 0
Search 1 1
Storage 1 0
Bots 0 1
Integration 0 1
Security and privacy 1 0
Pricing Plans 1 0
Shortcuts 0 1
Support 0 1
Total 7 8


According to the score, Slack has a slight advantage over Microsoft Teams. This score shouldn't be the ultimate basis for why one app is better than the other. Users should always first access their needs, tick off the feature boxes they are most interested in, and then settle on the app that ticks the most boxes. 

As per the table, both tables adequately cover the advanced search capabilities, communication needs, and technical support. That's why both apps rank highly in the communication and collaboration industry. 

Nevertheless, the two apps won't fair well with industries such as software development and healthcare with prominent team members. This deal killer is due to the two apps' storage limitations, pricing, and a lack of a self-hosting solution. 








Michael Dam

Michael started his career as a product manager and then developed a passion for writing. He has been writing on technology, remote working, productivity, etc., hoping to share his thoughts with more people.

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