Chanty

We’ve Tried Slack vs Flock For 2 Weeks. Here’s Our Team’s Feedback

Slack vs Flock
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Team communication tool is a must-have in a today’s office. But with so many products available these days, the question is “Which app is the best for my team?”

Thanks to building Chanty – a simple, AI-powered team chat, our team had to perform an in-depth analysis of our competitors. We’ve considered their pros and cons from a customer’s perspective and tried to come up with a better, cleaner and more user-friendly chat alternative.

We have an entire article with the results of competitors’ research, covering our feedback on various Slack alternatives. However, this time we would like to focus on two rivals: the well-known Slack and its Indian competitor Flock. Our team has dived into these tools for two weeks and we are ready to share our impressions today.

Slack vs Flock pricing (0:1)

Communication apps tend to receive some level of virality as a single customer may invite hundreds of teammates. Both Slack and Flock employ the freemium business model to get the word-of-mouth effect. It means they both offer a free version of their product. If you’d like to upgrade and unlock additional features, get ready to pay $4.5 per user, per month for Flock Pro plan. With Slack, prepare to spend $6.67 (Slack standard plan) and $12.50 (Slack Plus plan) per user, per month.

Slack vs Flock pricing
SlackFlock
Standard $6.67 user/month

Plus $12.50 user/month

Pro plan $4.5 user/month

Speaking of prices, Slack is the most expensive app out of all team communication tools we’ve analyzed so far. Flock is obviously more affordable, so this is the moment to consider when making your choice between Flock and Slack.

Let’s have a quick comparison of the features available in free plans of Slack and Flock:

Features available in free version of Slack and Flock
Slack (free)Flock (free)
Video conferencingFor no more than 2 usersUp to 20 users

Up to 20 mins/call

Screen sharingNoNo
Message history limit10 000 messages10 000 messages
IntegrationsLimit of 10 integrations
(with 800+ integrations in Slack to choose from)
Unlimited (with 50+ integrations overall in Flock)

As you can see, Flock offers more features in its free version and is less expensive when it comes to paid plans, so we are giving it its first credit for pricing.

Slack vs Flock interface (1:0)

The impression you get once you open Flock – it’s overloaded with too many icons, controls, options, features and information. The interface of the app is divided into five bars with icons everywhere: on the top, on the left, on the right and even on the bottom. It was honestly hard to understand where should I focus first. Moreover, Flock has two search fields and two icons for ‘recent conversations’ on the same screen.

Flock interfaceFlock interface

Slack was able to achieve a more simple interface while keeping rich functionality by hiding its features and multiple options behind the buttons like these:

Slack interfaceSlack interface

Overall, Slack is more convenient and friendly when it comes to the user interface. You can fully focus on conversations in Slack without being distracted by too many icons around.

Slack vs Flock conversations (1:0)

Sending and receiving messages is the core functionality of every instant chat. It should be highlighted that ‘conversation with myself’ is an extremely handy feature in Slack. I can keep some private info and files there that are only available for me. However, if you are using a free version of Slack, keep in mind that your private conversations, as well as any other, will start to disappear from the history once you hit the 10K messages limit. Yep, the searchable message history is limited in the Slack freemium plan.

Just a few months ago you could enjoy searching messages as deep as you want in Flock, but they’ve changed it recently and put a 10K limit just like at Slack. Unfortunately, there are no conversations with myself which I missed badly after using this feature in Slack. There is also an obvious lack of privacy in Flock. It seems like everything you do – from creating a to-do item to uploading a file to pinning a message is instantly available to your colleagues. Transparency in communication at work is great, but there is still a need for some privacy which is unfortunately of a short supply in Flock.

Both Slack and Flock have an option to reply to any message in a channel conversation. When you use Slack, your reply creates a new thread and you can clearly see that the message was answered as well as click it through and view it in the right sidebar.

Threads feature in SlackThreads feature in Slack

In Flock, it’s also possible to write a reply, but it will appear as a new message in a conversation. You can’t really create a conversation with multiple messages in the thread. Once you hit the reply button to respond to an existing reply you are basically creating a new reply once again to the first message. This makes the whole “reply” functionality somewhat confusing in Flock.

Reply feature in FlockReply feature in Flock

Both Slack and Flock put the limit to their searchable message history in a free plan. When it comes to Slack, you can enjoy some privacy thanks to ‘conversations with yourself’, the thread feature is also well thought-through in Slack and is less confusing compared to Flock. Our team believes Slack wins the conversation battle 1:0.

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Slack vs Flock video calls (0:1)

Earlier, Flock integrated with Appear.in for providing audio and video calls. In 2018, however, it introduced its own tool for live meetings.  

Here’s a brief comparison of video calls in Slack and Flock:

Free plans

SlackFlock
Amount of users1-to-1 calls onlyUp to 20 users in a group chat
Call durationnot specified 20 minutes per call, you can place as many voice and video calls as you need
Screen sharing not availablenot available

Paid plans

SlackFlock
Amount of usersup to 15 usersup to 20 users
Call durationnot specified unlimited
Screen sharing yes yes

We’ve experienced a better video quality while calling in Flock while we had no issues with audio quality both in Slack and Flock. That’s why we believe the tool wins the video calls battle.

Some bugs occurred during a video call in SlackSome bugs occurred during a video call in Slack

Slack vs Flock notifications (1:0)

Notifications are an integral part of every business chat tool. It’s crucial to be able to control your notifications not to irritate you every minute, but at the same time not to miss something important. Slack offers an in-depth control over all kinds of notifications.

Notification settings in SlackNotification settings in Slack

Apart from these settings, you also have an entire page of Notification preferences in Slack. E.g. you can set up a keyword notification (if someone types in a specific keyword you’ll get notified) for a particular channel, set up the time when you don’t want to get notified (do not disturb mode) and many more options.

Notification preferences in SlackNotification preferences in Slack

At the same time, you have limited options when it comes to notification settings in Flock. You can switch on do not disturb mode, but without setting up time preferences. Switching off popup notifications, audio alerts and some other features are available.

notification settings in Flock

However, this is pretty much it when it comes to notification settings in Flock. Considering the in-depth customization of notifications in Slack, our team believes Slack wins this battle 1:0.

Slack vs Flock file sharing (1:0)

The file sharing features in both messengers is very alike – you can share a document, a video from your computer or from Google Drive. However, Slack is probably a little bit ahead of the game. First, it has file upload limit 1Gb compared to 100MB in Flock. Second, you can search within documents you sent or received – this is a feature we’ll explore below.  

Slack vs Flock search (1:0)

In a word, search settings are more diverse in Slack.

When we wrote the first edition of this comparison, the search feature in Flock was so weak that we couldn’t even find a document by its name. Good for Flock, file search is working in the tool now. You can also specify your search by your conversations or contacts.

Search filters in Flock

In Slack, however, you can also specify the search by a particular time period and exclude from the search the channels you are not in.

Search filters in Slack

Moreover, in Slack, you can search within documents. If someone sent you a document and you forgot its name, but remember, let’s say, its chapter title or just a phrase from it, you can type a text snippet in the search box to find it.

Some time ago I shared an e-book  ‘50 ways to improve team communication’ in PDF with a colleague. So I typed the name of a chapter ‘Celebrating workplace diversity’ to check whether I can find it via search. And it worked!

I tried to do the same thing in Flock, but no use. I could find the document by its title, but not by the name of one of its chapters.  

Slack vs Flock integrations (1:0)

When you are not into business communication tools, chances are you don’t understand why one would pay 8$ per employee just to have a team chat. However, it’s a bit more complicated. Integrations make team chats like Slack, Flock and Chanty different from personal communication apps like Viber, Telegram, WhatsApp or even Skype.

Why do you need integrations anyway?  

Imagine having one single place to have all your notifications. No need to open several browser tabs or desktop apps to keep everything at work under control. Whether you are using MailChimp, Zendesk or Salesforce, all the pings come directly to your business communication app. It saves your time tremendously giving your team a productivity boost you’ve been craving for.

Let’s go back to our rivals and see who’s winning. While Flock is integrated with around 50 apps so far, Slack was able to cover more than 1000 third party apps. It makes a serious difference for those who have discovered the real value of integrations.

Conclusion

After taking a look at Slack and Flock from different angles, we’ve come up with the following table with the results of Slack vs Flock battle.

Results of Slack vs Flock battle
SlackFlock
Interface10
Conversations            10
Pricing01
Video calls01
File sharing10
File search10
Notifications10
Integrations10
Total score62

If you are choosing between Slack and Flock, you have to clearly define your business needs, budget and workflows. With Slack, you get a more user-friendly interface, convenient conversation structure, customizable notifications and a powerful file search. On the other hand, file sharing could be a pain, video calls have a room for improvement and free Slack version comes with a more limited environment compared to Flock.

At the same time, Flock is a more affordable alternative offering extra functionality in its free version along with a fun, higher quality pre-installed video calls and more comfortable file sharing compared to Slack. However, multiple user interface issues could be improved as well as file search feature could be improved in Flock.

If you are still hesitating which team messenger tool to choose, we strongly recommend you to try out Chanty – simple AI-powered team chat and a single notification center. Enjoy our built-in task manager, high-quality audio and video calls, voice messages and many other cool features. We are well aware of the existing messengers’ pros and cons. We’ve considered them all while building the better team chat – Chanty.

Book a demo with our team and give Chanty a try 😉


Also published on Medium.

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Olga Mykhoparkina

Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty – a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work.

Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter @olmykh or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

20 comments

    • Hi Katy, you are right, as for the integrations, Slack is head and shoulders above Flock. However, our research of more than 100 companies using team communication apps has showed that not every team uses integrations. If integrations are of high importance for your team, Slack definitely wins.

  • Got to say that comparison lacks a very important feature – apps and integrations/bots and slack wins hands down. For communication platform, integrations are very important and there are ton of these for slack but not so much for flock.
    I found flock to just copy everything slack does down to similar sounding name and then compete by slashing the price.

    • Thank you Sam, good point, Slack definitely wins when it comes to a number of integrations. Will be adding this section soon.

  • Hi Olga. What’s your view on how they compare for app and bot development and features? I’m looking to start developing chat bots and I’m trying to figure out which platform is best to start learning on. Yours?

    • Hi Richard, thanks for the question. Well, it should depend on you. If you are an experienced developer it won’t make much of a difference for you. In case you are a beginner, it’s better to start with Slack API tutorials, learn about the best practices, experiment, ask questions and share your experience with the community of enthusiasts building bots for a chosen messenger.

    • Hi Prasad. Nice point, will have to add the file storage limit to the post. Slack lets you use up to 5GB in a free plan and 10GB in a Standard plan. Flock allows a maximum of 1000 files of 100 MB for each user both in FREE and PRO plans. At the same time Chanty provides its customers with 10GB of storage in a free plan. Hope this helps:)

  • I liked Flock because of it’s interface and ease of use and more features. But I did not use it for integration – which I know slack has the upperhand.

    I use flock to chat with my group and use Pipefy for task management (very powerful app).

    • Hi Olive, thank you for sharing your feedback. The truth is – there isn’t a team communication tool that is a perfect fit for everyone. It’s great that you’ve found Flock’s interface easy to use and it works for you. Those who need a number of integrations will surely find their benefit in Slack. At the same time, if you are looking for a fast and simple tool that overcomes information overload you should take a look at Chanty, our AI-powered team chat. Is there a surefire way to find a perfect tool for YOU? There is and it’s pretty simple – give a try to a few and go with what best meets your needs.

  • Hi Olga,

    I’m from Flock and would like to point out to your readers that there are quite a few pieces of information in this article that are outdated. Like, for instance – we now have threaded comments, a personal chat stream aka the ‘me only’ channel that you talk about. We also now have file search. In fact, right out of the box, I believe that we are a lot more feature rich than slack – the UI of which is preferred by many of our fast growing and large user base.
    I do get that this is an old article, but your site is very well optimized and appears for many top results. A revision of the article would be great but at the least I thought that I would leave this comment here.

    • Hi Allister,

      Thank you for your interest in my article. It’s great to hear that you guys have updated some of the features in Flock. I’ll make sure to test the threaded comments, personal chat and file search features in Flock and update this post with the results of my review.

      Cheers,
      Olga

  • I tried out Flock and Slack because in both I can migrate from Stride to each of them. I wanted Flock, because I thought I could do screen sharing in the free version. Mistake. Other than that.. your comparison is what I found out as well: Slack is less cluttered, easier to use, you can turn off the auto-start-on-login, settings are easier to find, easier to set up. I think Slack is a clear winner.

    • Hi Malachi, thank you for your comment. Ability to migrate from Stride is quite handy this year. We are actively working on developing screen sharing and many more features for Chanty as well. If you choose to give Chanty a try, we’ll be happy to hear your feedback.

  • With HipChat’s inevitable sunset, my company is migrating to Slack, likely due to Atlassian’s recommendation. However, an ad for Flcok played on YouTube and got me curious about which was better. I found your comparison to be nicely done and easy to understand. However, you made a mistake in the file sharing comparison. The write-up explains that Slack is better due to file size and searching capabilities. However, you mistakenly gave the point to Flock both in the section header and the conclusion. With that score corrected, Slack beats Flock 6-2.

    • Hi, Jonathan, thanks for your feedback! We corrected the score a while ago. I wonder if you are satisfied with Slack after migrating to the tool? Best of luck!

  • > Needless to say, we’ve experienced a better video quality while calling in Flock

    Why was this “needless to say”? It’s not obvious to me that video quality should be better in Flock.

  • A different opinion on Flock…

    We have used Flock for about 2 years and our findings are a bit different.

    Search: We have had nothing but success with it. Granted the last year has seen some significant improvements in many areas including search. Granted it is more contextual based but still works even for files (as long as you know their name).

    File Sharing: We primarily shared our files via google but when the need did arise we would share our files via the chat. Yes, we had files that were significant in size. No issues.

    Notifications: We believe that the notifications are good but not great. Needs improvement. We like the options they provide and the read receipts, server status and more. Some of us prefer in chat sounds too – while others do not. In comparison to Slack – we had more reliable notifications than we did when we used slack.

    Integrations: Hands down Slack wins.

    We decided against Slack for the user experience seemed easier on Flock. Not having a built-in Poll feature was 1 of our complaints about Slack. We love the way Flock has their’s set up. Wish all chat apps would follow. Yes we agree that the video calling and audio was better than most out there. What about support? Flock’s support has improved as well over the last year and we have been impressed with these improvements. We do wish for more integrations and the auto process option is nice but would like it to have more. So overall we’d give Flock an overall 6 maybe 7. The interface is a bit busy. Some of my team love it others think of is as only fair.

    • Corvin,

      Thank you for taking time and leaving your feedback on Flock. It’s great to know that tools improve over time.

      Our team and I would appreciate if you tried Chanty in your context and shared your unbiased review.

      Thanks, Nick – Chanty CEO

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