Ready to upgrade your communication and collaboration strategy?
Slack and Twist are two of the most popular team chat apps for doing just that.
Both of these tools allow companies of all sizes to communicate more dynamically – particularly in remote working environments. Whether you’re a Slack fan or a Twist advocate, you can use either app to keep track of workplace projects, launch meetings, and manage ongoing conversations.
So, how do you choose between them?
It’s mostly down to whether you’re looking for a simple and straightforward messaging app, or you want a robust collaboration tool with dozens of integrations and features.
Slack was launched in 2014 to give today’s employees multiple ways to communicate. On Slack, you get to decide whether you want to use instant messaging, video, voice, or threaded messages to connect with coworkers.
When Doist launched Twist in 2017, they took a much more focused approach. Twist is a thread-focused messaging tool that allows businesses to communicate more efficiently via organized conversations and text.
So, how does Slack’s collaboration hub compare to Twist’s threaded messaging app?
Let’s find out.
By the way, if you’ve tried both tools and still need an even faster and more streamlined communication tool for your team, make sure to try out Chanty – there’s a free version for up to 10 users!
Slack vs. Twist: pricing
At first glance, Twist seems like a very close competitor for Slack.
Like Slack, the app supports centralized, searchable conversations among business teams. It also offers direct messaging between individual group members too.
More importantly, just like Slack, Twist is available as a freemium or premium service.
The free version of Twist offers access to:
- 1 month of messages or comments
- Up to 5 integrations
- 5GB of file storage
- Unlimited guests
Although those features are a good start – they’re not as generous as Slack’s free service, which comes with access to:
- 10 app integrations
- 10,000 searchable messages
- One-to-one video calls
- Two-factor authentication
- Easy file sharing features
Although Slack’s free package easily beats Twist, the Premium version of Twist is available for a price that’s much lower than Slack’s paid packages.
You’ll only pay $5 per month for unlimited access to every feature that Twist has. On the other hand, Slack’s pricing starts at $6.67 per month for the standard package (per active user), or $12.50 for the Plus version.
If you’re looking for a free account, Slack has a lot more to offer. If you’re willing to splash some cash, Twist will give you a wide array of capabilities for a low cost.
Slack vs. Twist: interface and user experience
Both Slack and Twist are highly accessible team chat apps.
You can sign up for each service in a matter of minutes, and the interface for both options is clean, simple, and straightforward. However, the way that Slack and Twist support usability is slightly different.
Twist claims to provide a “calmer” and “more organized” mode of communication for teams. The company wants to encourage mindful communication.
That means that instead of getting a continuous stream of comments in channels like you do on Slack, you get discussions that take place in threads.
Using Twist is a lot like managing your email inbox, as you can see:
This simple and familiar UI is sure to make it an easy option for companies that might struggle to encourage the adoption of newer, more sophisticated tools.
Because everything is threaded, it’s easy to keep your messages organized. Additionally, Twist also offers the option for direct messaging if you need to send something in private.
Twist combines the convenience of a basic real-time messaging app, with the familiar comfort of using email threads.
Slack is a little more innovative with it’s approach to user experience.
When you sign up, you’ll have the option to customize your user interface according to your needs.
This includes an option to name your Slack board, set up unique channels with specific team members, and even change the theme of your app:
Aside from just offering instant messaging and threaded team chat, Slack also provides access to audio and video calls. All you need to do is click the little phone icon in the top of a channel to launch a call in seconds.
Both Slack and Twist come with fantastic usability – but they take very different approaches in the way that they help you to get work done.
Ask yourself whether you want multiple methods of communication from your chat app or just one very focused way to stay connected.
Slack vs. Twist: communication options
While both team chat apps give you a broad workspace where you can organize business content, one’s far more focused than the other.
Slack prioritizes channels to give businesses a real-time stream of messages – both in a group chat and private messaging. Twist concentrates mainly on threads, with the option to launch private conversations too.
According to the team at Doist, who used Slack before they build their own app, their biggest problem with Slack was the chaos of the conversation. They found that the constant stream of messages was confusing and challenging to keep track of.
Doist felt that by placing threads at the core of their product, they’d help teams to keep their conversations transparent, and asynchronous.
As mentioned above, the Twist app delivers a communication experience that’s like an upgraded version of your email inbox. Your threads are listed in the center panel, your individual messages are on the right-hand side, and your channels are on the left.
Additionally, there’s no in-built option for voice or video calls. However, you can implement video and voice into your collaboration app by using the Appear.in integration. Twist also integrates with Zapier, so you can use that to add video and audio functionality from other apps into your chat tool as well.
Once you’ve added the integration, you can just type /appear.in room-name into any thread to start a video chat.
With Slack, you can create public channels and direct messages for your conversations. Channels are where your group discussions take place.
Got something private to discuss with your team? No worries, you can set up a private channel for that too:
Direct messages are where you have your one-on-one conversations with team members. There’s also an option to create group conversations in your DMs for up to 8 people, which you can convert into a channel later.
Slack also has threads – just like Twist. Useful for keeping the context in it’s own “mini-channel”.
Slack caters for file sharing and document uploads by just dragging and dropping them into your conversation.
However, you won’t be able to collaborate on that document within Slack like you could on something like Microsoft Teams.
What’s more, unlike Twist, Slack has audio and video calls built into its core functionality. When you click the phone icon in the top right of your conversation or channel, you can launch a call instantly, which means you don’t need to rely as heavily on messaging alone.
Again, another question to ask yourself when evaluating team chat apps.
Slack vs. Twist: presence
Probably the biggest difference between Slack and Twist is their workflow strategy.
Twist is all about asynchronous work.
In other words, you don’t feel the same pressure to keep continually checking messages in your channels to ensure you’re up to date.
While you still have one-to-one and group messaging features, Twist users are more likely check messages on an ad hoc basis.
Twist encourages this asynchronous working by removing the presence feature. There’s no green icon indicating someone is online.
That means no peer pressure to be constantly logged on, and no coworkers pouncing on you the second that you jump online.
It’s also easier to send long-form messages on Twist, rather than dozens of little ones. When you hit the return key, it ends a paragraph, rather than sending your content.
A common criticism for Slack is that it places more pressure on users.
It shows everyone when you’re active online, which means that you don’t have an excuse for not replying to messages quickly.
There is a simple remedy to this: you can set a status to let people know when you’re not available, or set yourself as “Away”.
You can also turn notifications off when you need some time to focus on certain projects.
Of course, this won’t always guarantee that people will give you your space when you need it.
However, the same could be said for a lot of messaging apps. If you’re worried about people ignoring presence settings in your workplace, that’s something that you need to work on with your team chat strategy.
Slack vs. Twist: notifications and alerts
Speaking of avoiding the chaos and pressure of team chat apps, Slack and Twist take different approaches to notifications and alerts too.
On both of these channels, there are ways to customize how you get notifications. However, your options differ depending on which tool you go for.
For instance, on Slack, you can decide whether you want to be notified for every message, or be notified when you’re mentioned, get a private message, or when a keyword is specified.
You’ll also be able to turn notifications off completely if you need to or choose different settings for your mobile devices.
It will be important to make sure that your team knows how to use @Mentions sensibly if you want to get the most out of your notification features here.
To keep message overwhelm to a minimum, Twist also includes a “Time Off” option. When you choose this, Twist gives a little notification under your name that shows other people when you won’t be available. Like with Slack, you can also snooze notifications for a set period.
Now that studies show that 91% of businesses are using multiple apps each day, it’s essential that you can reduce your risk of being bombarded by content.
Whether you choose Slack or Twist, both apps will give you at least some control over the number of alerts you get each day.
Slack vs. Twist: integrations
All collaboration tools aim to be the one-stop-shop for your chat and file sharing.
However, the truth is that you can rarely find an app that’s one-size-fits-all.
Instead, the easiest way to make sure that everyone on your team gets the functionality that they need is to ensure that the app you use integrates well with the other apps you use.
Both Slack and Twist come with access to helpful integrations. However, at the time of writing, Slack has a much broader selection.
You can choose from hundreds of integrations with apps – all divided across categories like Design, Productivity, Sales, File Management, and Project Management. You can even use tools like Mio to combine your Slack chat with chat from Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams.
On the other hand, there’s only a small selection of integrations available on Twist, including Todoist, Zapier, and GitHub.
If you want to try an app that offers a wide variety of integrations for free, make sure to give Chanty a go! Some of our integrations include Google Drive, Trello, GitHub, Asana, Dropbox, Zapier and many others.
Slack vs. Twist: search functionality
Need to find a message hidden among piles of online conversations?
No problem, Slack and Twist will both help you with that.
When used in browser mode, Twist allows users to narrow their search by person, message, or thread, by applying specific filters. You can even look for content shared on a specific channel or date. There are some filter options on the mobile app too – but not as many.
You could argue that in-depth search functionality isn’t as necessary on Twist as it is on Slack. After all, your conversations will already be well organized and segmented because of the structure that Twist uses for threads.
Slack has a slightly more immersive search experience. You can look for content within a specific channel or search your entire workplace. There’s also the option to look for keywords in previous documents that you’ve shared.
The search functionality is absolutely crucial on Slack because without it, it’d be practically impossible to find a piece of content after a few hundred messages are exchanged between members of your team.
So your collaboration experience would be rather… uncollaborative.
Slack vs. Twist: bot support
If you need extra help making the most of Twist or Slack, then why not tap into a native bot?
Both Slack and Twist come with their own in-built intelligence.
Slack’s bot is called “Slackbot”, while Twist is called “Ada Bot”.
Both options are simple to use. However, Slackbot seems to be a little more helpful overall.
Ada Bot is mainly focused on answering help questions in your threads.
For instance, you could ask, “How do I start a video call?”
You’ll also be able to use Ada to see a preview of your message before you hit send. This feature is really only useful if you’ve included a lot of rich text in your content and you want to make sure the formatting is just right.
Slackbot does a bit more.
Like Ada Bot, it gives you easy access to knowledge base articles and useful information. But you can also use Slackbot to store personal notes, create reminders for yourself and other users, schedule meetings, and create custom responses to actions.
Slack also offers the option to install third-party apps which have their unique features too.
Slack vs. Twist: help center
Finally, Slack and Twist both offer today’s users multiple ways to seek out the assistance they need when they’re struggling to get the most out of their team chat apps.
You can either use the bots built into Slack and Twist to surface the information you need with a quick request, or you can visit the Slack or Twist Help Centers.
The Slack Help Center has a handy search feature that lets you track down the information you need quickly and efficiently.
You’ll also be able to get insights into what other brands have done with Slack by reading through the user stories and case studies on the Slack site:
Twist takes a very similar approach to Help Center support.
You can either pick from a standard topic provided on the Help Center home page, like “Team Admin,” or “Using Twist,” or you can search for what you need using keywords:
Both Twist and Slack offer excellent ways to upgrade your communication and collaboration strategy in today’s age of digital transformation. They move your conversations out of the conventional email inbox, and into more dynamic, public spaces.
While Twist is more of an upgrade to your standard email experience, offering an experience that’s similar to using a company forum, Slack provides a more comprehensive collaboration hub. Let’s review the key findings of our research below:
Pricing. Twist is cheaper than Slack for the premium packages, but Slack provides a far more generous free package. Plus, there’s access to video and audio conferencing in premium, which you don’t get on Twist without an integration. You need to make a call on your genuine requirements here.
Interface and UX. Both Slack and Twist are straightforward to use. Twist is similar to using your email inbox or working on advanced company forum, while Slack provides a wide range of ways to communicate with members of your team in a customizable environment. Think about your current users and which option will encourage the higher adoption rates.
Communication. Slack has more communication options to offer than Twist, including drag-and-drop file sharing, and access to video and audio conferencing that’s built natively into the app.
Presence. Slack comes with presence features that allow you to check who’s online at any given moment. This could be a deal breaker for some businesses.
Search. Slack’s search functionality is more immersive, but it needs to be, as the conversations you have on this app are far less segmented and organized.
Bot support. Both Slack and Twist have native bots built-in. Slackbot offers greater functionality with the option to set notifications, reminders, and meetings up from within your bot conversation.
Integrations. There’s a much wider range of integrations available on Slack today. Most team chat apps will find it hard to mix it with Slack in this category.
Help and Support. Both Slack and Twist offer excellent DIY support, through immersive Help Centers and handy bots.
Share your experiences with using Slack and Twist in the comments below!
Oh and if you want to add another option to your selection of communication apps, we would love it if you tried out Chanty! We have chat, audio and video calls, screen sharing, project management features and much more for you to enjoy.
Thank you for this comprehensive comparison. Very helpful.