With the coronavirus pandemic not going away any time soon, a lot of businesses are looking for a way to communicate in a remote setting. However, there seems to be a vast array of apps to choose from and finding the best one can be a bit of a challenge.
When building Chanty – our own team chat app for communication and collaboration – we’ve had the opportunity to test quite a few team chat apps. We test each app for a few weeks to find its strengths and weaknesses and ultimately, to learn from it and try to create something even better.
Today, we’ll be talking about two competitors with similar offerings: Slack vs. Flock. Let’s see how they compare in 2020 and beyond and which one is a better solution for your team.
Slack vs Flock pricing (0:1)
One thing that makes the team chat app business model unique is that the more uses a team has, the more money can be made. With this in mind, team chat app companies like Slack and Flock create freemium business model – to attract companies with a large number of users. You get to try the free version of the product with some limitations and in order to access the full package, you have to upgrade to a paid plan.
Speaking of paid plans, Flock has two at the moment. The cheaper Pro plan is $4.50 per user per month and unlocks unlimited messages and an unlimited searchable history, as well as 10GB of storage per member. The more expensive Enterprise plan starts at is $8 per month and it unlocks 20Gb of storage, Single Sign On and 24/7 dedicated support. Since both teams offer unlimited messages and other similar features, I don’t think that the extra $3.50 is worth the upgrade. With a team of 100 people, this could make a difference of $450 and $800 per month without a significant difference in use.
On the other hand, Slack pricing has been the same for years now. The Pro plan will set you back $7.25 per user while the more expensive Business+ plan is $12.50.
|Pro $7.25 user/month|
Business+ $12.50 user/month
|Pro plan $4.5 user/month|
When it comes to pricing, the decision is simple. Flock offers more features in the free plan and its paid plan is cheaper in comparison. So, the winner here is obvious – Flock.
|Slack (free)||Flock (free)|
|Video conferencing||For no more than 2 users||For no more than 2 users|
Up to 20 mins/call
|Message history||90-day messaging||10 000 messages|
|Integrations||Limit of 10 integrations|
(with 2000+ integrations in Slack to choose from)
|Unlimited (with 50+ integrations overall in Flock)|
Slack vs Flock interface (1:0)
Perhaps I’ve been spoiled with too many SaaS applications I’ve used to date, but I was not too pleased when I first opened Flock. The interface is split up into no less than five different sections on your screen and finding the right piece of information can be a hassle. It takes quite a bit of time to get used to this arrangement and a confusing mix of icons, windows, bars and features. After a while, you get familiar with it but I couldn’t stop wondering if things had to be this complicated.
On the other hand, Slack is much simpler and its two basic features are displayed from the start. Each additional feature is hidden behind some sort of a button. The best of all is that the buttons are placed intuitively in the places where you would expect them. For example, the attach button is right next to the chat window.
In this category, Slack takes the win.
Slack vs Flock conversations (1:0)
One of the best things in Slack is being able to start a conversation with yourself. Simply click on your own name on the left side of the screen and type any messages that you only want to see for yourself. It’s great for leaving notes or links you want to review in the future and you can use Slack as your own notepad.
The problem is, those messages will disappear after a certain time period. Slack has a limit of 10,000 searchable messages in its free plan, so once you run out of those 10k, you won’t be able to find your old messages. Unfortunately, the same goes for Flock. With both tools, you have to upgrade to a paid plan to get an unlimited search history.
When it comes to Flock, the one thing we didn’t like was the fact that everyone in your team can see what you’re doing. Whether you create a to-do item or pin a message, everyone in the team is able to see this action.
Threads feature in Slack
Threads are another feature which I’ve come to love in Slack. For each message you write, you can reply to it in a thread. Answers in a thread are displayed under the original message, which keeps things nice and orderly. In Flock, replying to a message does not open a thread but instead creates a completely new message. The same happens when you reply to an existing reply in a thread. In other words, it’s downright confusing.
Reply feature in Flock
Out of a perspective of pure user experience, Slack’s conversations are much easier to use and read, which is why Slack wins in this category.
Slack vs Flock video calls (0:1)
In the very beginnings of its journey, Flock used Appear.in as an integration to make video calls possible. However, it now offers standalone video calling as a feature. Both tools do video calls fairly well and there were no major hiccups when using either of them. However, the video quality in Flock is noticeably better than that in Slack, which is why we’ll give Flock the upper hand in this category.
|Amount of users||1-to-1 calls only||1-to-1 calls only|
|Call duration||not specified||20 minutes per call, you can place as many voice and video calls as you need|
|Screen sharing||not available||not available|
|Amount of users||up to 15 users||up to 20 users|
|Call duration||not specified||unlimited|
Some bugs occurred during a video call in Slack
Slack vs Flock notifications (1:0)
We all know how important notifications are for our everyday functioning in the workplace. In Slack, you can tinker with notification settings down to the minute details. You can choose when you receive them, for what types of messages and when specifically you do not want to be disturbed.
Notification settings in Slack
Notification preferences in Slack
Flock’s notifications are not so sophisticated. You can turn on your do-not-disturb mode, but only at the press of a button. In other words, you cannot set a certain time frame when you won’t receive any notifications. The other notification settings are very basic as well.
When it comes to notifications, Slack takes the prize.
Slack vs Flock file sharing (1:0)
Without beating around the bush, I’ll go ahead and say that Slack has better file-sharing options. First of all, you can upload files of up to 1GB in size, compared to 100MB in Flock. What’s even better is that Slack allows you to search within your uploaded documents, which is a feature that Flock is missing – but more on that in the next section.
Slack vs Flock search (1:0)
As mentioned, both apps have a limited search history of up to 10k messages. When searching in Flock, you can specify what you want to search in: a contact or a conversation, making the search quicker and more efficient. On the other hand, Slack even allows you to choose the time period you want to search for and you can exclude certain search elements as well.
Search filters in Flock
Search filters in Slack
One super cool feature in Slack is that you can search the documents you uploaded. For example, you can search the contents of a Word or PDF file, which can come in very handy.
With everything said and done, the search feature is much more advanced in Slack, so it wins in yet another category.
Slack vs Flock integrations (1:0)
When it comes to integrations, they’ve started as something nice to have and become an integral part of any team chat app. Among others, a good team chat app needs to have integrations with key workplace apps, such as Google Workspace, Dropbox/Box, various project management apps and others.
Once again, Slack is the clear winner here, purely on the basis of numbers. At the moment of writing, Slack integrates with more than 2,000 third-party applications, while Flock only integrates with the help of Zapier, which becomes quite expensive at some point.
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.
Even though they seem similar, Slack and Flock are two completely different beasts. Even though it costs more, Slack comes out on top as the more capable tool, with better interface, conversations, notifications, file sharing and integrations. If you want the tool which is overall better, go for Slack. If price is your main concern, Flock may still be a good option.
However, if you want the best of both worlds – a capable tool with amazing features and a great pricing – take a look at Chanty! Our free plan comes with unlimited search history, while our paid plans have amazing features like audio and video calls and screen sharing. Give it a try today for free! 😉
Thanks for the comparison. We’re most likely to stay with slack due to its list of integrations available.
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 Olga, Nice comparison, How about File storage capacity?
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’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.
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.
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.
Thank you for your comment – I totally agree with you. Duly noted!
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.
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
What is AI powered in Chanty. Been using it for couple of days but can’t understand what is AI powered in Chanty?
Thanks for using our team chat tool. Happy to hear your feedback.
We were working in the AI direction before. Now we are gathering a lot of feedback from our active users and working on the implementation of the features our customers need most.