Slack is a premier workplace group chat app, designed for team collaboration. You may feel out of the loop and be wondering, “What is Slack used for?” Don’t worry; you have come to the right place.
Whether you are in a small team or a megacorporation, Slack can improve workplace communication. Once you have finished reading this article, you will know all you need about Slack.
Maybe you will even want to give it a try to aid your company.
What is Slack?
Slack is a workplace communication tool. It is a centralized messaging app that keeps files, chats, and tools in one place.
The app functions on mobile and desktop devices so you can maintain communication anywhere.
While there are many facets to Slack, the primary use is its messaging services. You can message a group of people in a channel or have a one-on-one chat through a direct message (DM).
Slack allows you to upload and share files with your team, and it integrates with other apps so you can do everything you need in one location.
What Do I Need to Know to Use Slack?
When signing up for Slack for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You will need to know your Slack instance, the channels you are a part of, the people you have DMed, and where to find the chat window.
Upon signing up, you will need to select a name for your Slack instance. This name becomes part of a URL, from where you can invite people into your group.
Channels can be public or private, so either any member of your instance can see and join it, or only members of that channel can see and invite people into it.
Direct messages can include up to eight people, and they are always private.
The chat window is where all the conversations happen. It is where you can read and reply to messages.
Slack lets you send gifs and emojis, see RSS feeds, get notifications, and set reminders. However, the primary usage is the chat feature.
How Much Does Slack Cost?
Slack has a variety of pricing options, including a Free plan.
The Free plan lets you search the last 10,000 messages, have 5 GB of file storage, and integrate ten apps. However, you cannot add guests and have limited administrative options.
To expand your message history, storage space, integration options, security, and administrative control, you will have to upgrade to the Standard, Plus, or Enterprise Grid plans.
Paying the subscription monthly will cost you $8 per person for Standard and $15 per person for Plus. If you pay annually, you will pay $6.67 per person per month and $12.50 per person per month for the Standard and Plus plans.
The Enterprise Grid cost varies based on many factors, and you will need to contact Slack for a pricing option.
Depending on the size of your company, these prices can add up. While the benefits are undeniable, it is a significant investment to make.
Why Should I Use Slack?
If you are a member of any sized team or business, you can use Slack.
A small group can use the Free plan for simple team collaboration. Since fewer people will be sending messages, it will take longer to reach the message and storage limits. If you want to try out the app, you can use the free version as long as you want.
For small- to medium-sized businesses, you should consider upgrading to the Standard plan. With this plan, you will have unlimited access to all data sent, better security measures, and endless integration options with the 15,000 available apps. Also, you can video call up to 15 people at a time.
If you have a larger business or desire more administrative control, you are the Plus plan’s best fit. In addition to the Standard plan’s benefits, you will get advanced identity management, more stringent compliance requirements, and 24/7 customer support.
The Plus plan uses SAML-based SSO and real-time Active Directory sync, so you are in constant control of your instance. You can save, delete, and export all data transmitted within the channels, and keep deletion logs. Lastly, the around-the-clock support comes with a 4-hour response time to quickly resolve your issue.
While the Plus pricing can get relatively high, if Slack encounters technical difficulties, you can be reimbursed for time lost through their 99.99% guaranteed uptime program.
Extra-large businesses and those in regulated industries should consider contacting Slack about the Enterprise Grid option. You will get enterprise-grade security and compliance, support for up to 500,000 users, centralized and customizable administration, and a support team tailored and designated for your company’s needs.
All in all, Slack has something to offer for everybody who wants a high-quality workplace messaging app.
What’s the Catch?
Despite subscribing to a paid plan, you will not have full ownership of your data. Slack runs on AWS, so your data will be hosted on Amazon servers through a third party. While not owning your data does not pose an issue for most users, depending on your company’s data handling policies, legal jurisdiction, or compliance requirements, this may be unacceptable.
Other issues come from the decentralization of information through various channels. Since users can create their own, some may have to flip through countless channels to find the necessary information. This wasted time can lower productivity as opposed to improving it.
Another issue is the lack of a mute or block option. If an individual is harassing you, you will have to take it up with the company instead of just blocking them. This missing feature may lead to uncomfortable interactions with coworkers.
Conclusion: Is Slack For Me?
If you are looking for a workspace group chat app with plenty of additional features, you may want to look into Slack.
With various payment options, including a free one, you can always try it out to see how you like it.
It only has a few minor drawbacks that will not interfere with most service uses, so give Slack a try next time you need to collaborate with a group.