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.
|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:
|Slack (free)||Flock (free)|
|Video conferencing||For no more than 2 users||Up to 20 users|
Up to 20 mins/call
|Message history limit||10 000 messages||10 000 messages|
|Integrations||Limit 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.
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:
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 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 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:
|Amount of users||1-to-1 calls only||Up to 20 users in a group chat|
|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|
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 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 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 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.
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 business 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.
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.
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. We are well aware of the existing messengers’ pros and cons. We’ve considered them all while building the better business chat – Chanty. Sign up for a beta test and give us a try;)
Also published on Medium.