Why you might want to ditch Slack

Slack boasts an opulence of features and integrations with other popular tools. That is why, on paper, it makes sense for a wide variety of professional teams with different collaboration needs.

Yet, a growing number of users have voiced their dissatisfaction with the platform.

In practice, Slack’s limitations and downsides are quickly revealed. Namely, it all comes down to:

  • The limitations of the free version of Slack, and
  • The steep pricing of their Pro and Business+ plans.

Even with the recent update to Slack’s free plan, non-paying users only have access to the past 90 days of message history and file storage.

To an objective observer, that seems more like the company’s attempt to usher users to transition to the paid version of its software than anything else.

But that’s where we run into the other problem with Slack — the steep pricing of its premium plans.

The cheapest plan has users paying $7.25 monthly per user (when paid annually — with monthly payments it balloons to $8.75 per month).

While that may not be an issue for larger organizations, it could be a real budget burner for smaller teams and startups.

So, if the above-mentioned downsides seem insurmountable, you should definitely consider the alternatives.

10 Best Slack alternatives for 2023

When looking for the best Slack alternatives, our main goal was to find apps like Slack that offer:

  • A longer (if not unlimited) message history,
  • More file storage space, and/or
  • More reasonable pricing.

In order to cover the breadth of the market, we set out to try:

  • Apps that represent a part of a broader ecosystem (Google, Microsoft, Facebook),
  • Comprehensive standalone team communication apps (Pumble, Mattermost, Flock), as well as
  • A few popular wildcards that take a somewhat different approach to team communication (Discord, Twist).

In the end, we have determined that the following Slack competitors are worthy of your consideration:

  1. Pumble
  2. Google Chat
  3. Microsoft Teams
  4. Skype
  5. Workplace
  6. Mattermost
  7. Flock
  8. Chanty
  9. Twist
  10. Discord

Now, without further ado, let’s see what makes each of these apps fantastic alternatives to Slack.

Alternative #1: Pumble — Best Overall

Source: Pumble

Pumble acts as a disrupting factor in the productivity industry, delivering the core of what Slack does well, but for free.

By placing no limitations on the message history and the number of users in a single workspace, Pumble aims to become the people’s champion.

Rather than limiting the features that exist in the free version of the software, Pumble’s paid plan simply allows bigger organizations to customize the app to their working environment.

Besides, unlike Slack, Pumble offers the paid version of its software at an incredibly affordable price. That and the recent rollout of group voice and video calls is enough to make Pumble the best Slack alternative in our book!


  • Feature-packed free plan
  • Affordable paid plan
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Unlimited users and message history for free
  • 10 GB of storage space for free (and 10 GB per user in the paid plan)
  • Voice and video calls (one-on-one and group conferencing)
  • Save messages and set reminders
  • Screen sharing
  • Light and dark themes
  • Sidebar customization


Available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: free or $1.99 per user per month (or $19.99 per year)

Alternative #2: Google Chat — Best for Google Workspace integration

Google Chat
Source: Google

Google Chat harnesses the power of familiarity. It represents an extension of the popular free Google Hangouts chat, familiar to anyone with a Gmail account.

Furthermore, Google’s platform proves itself to be a more versatile solution than some other Slack alternatives, applicable in a greater variety of scenarios.

It also benefits from the ubiquitous nature of Google as a comprehensive platform for online work. Along with other Google products such as Meet, Drive, Docs, or Calendar, Google Chat is available for free as part of the Google Workspace package.

In addition to the basic features of Hangouts, Google Chat provides additional collaboration-focused functionalities such as group chats, file sharing, and convenient integrations with other Google products (e.g. Meet for video calls).

However, as a stand-alone team communication platform, it does lack structure, organization, and customization, compared to some of the other apps we tested.


  • Deep integration with Google Workspace
  • Familiarity and simplicity
  • Voice and video calls
  • Unlimited chat history
  • Great storage (30 GB per user for the lowest price tier)


  • Only Google Workspace users get Google Chat for free
  • Video and voice calls rely on Google Workspace apps
  • Clunky non-Google integrations
  • Questionable UI choices

Available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS, in-browser, and in Gmail

Price: 14-day free trial and then starting at $6 per user per month

Alternative #3: Microsoft Teams — Best for Microsoft 365 integration

Microsoft Teams
Source: Microsoft

Built on the foundation of Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams represents the tech giant’s foray into the collaboration space. While the free version is available, it’s highly impractical for professional use. For one, you can only invite 300 users to one workspace.

Even if that wasn’t a dealbreaker, the abysmal amount of file storage space you get as well as the lacking features will eventually force your company to transition to one of the paid plans.

Still, signing up for the Microsoft 365 bundle provides you with a robust team communication and collaboration tool. Its comprehensive list of enterprise-specific features and integrations has made Microsoft Teams a popular choice for larger-scale organizations.

Though this app is a great Slack alternative, its complicated registration process, complex interface, the necessity of a paid plan, and great reliance on other Microsoft products make it a less popular choice for smaller teams and startups.


  • Unlimited chat history
  • 5 GB of storage per user in the free plan (10 GB/1 TB for paying users)
  • Many enterprise-specific features
  • Customizable themes
  • Paid plans include other Microsoft 365 suite apps


  • The free version isn’t suitable for work purposes
  • Less suitable for smaller teams
  • More complex registration and interface

Available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: free or starting at $4 per user per month

Alternative #4: Skype — Best for video calls

Source: Microsoft

As we have established, the free version of Microsoft Teams isn’t a great choice for most companies. However, since the platform was initially inspired by Skype, which is itself free, that could be a good option for those looking for a communication app from Microsoft specifically.

Of course, there’s not much we could say about Skype that everyone doesn’t already know.

It’s a classic for good reason, having served millions of people since its launch in 2003 — which was certainly evident in its UI design until its Microsoft Teams-inspired overhaul a few years back.

Even so, the app has all the makings of a decent business communication app — namely, the ability to exchange messages and files, as well as host video or audio conferences.


  • All features are available for free
  • 5 GB of OneDrive storage per user
  • Excellent voice and video calling features
  • Screen sharing
  • Can be used to make global phone calls (for a fee — via Skype Number)


  • Uninspired user interface
  • No 3rd party integrations

Available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Xbox, Alexa devices, and as a web app

Price: free

Alternative #5: Workplace — Best for Facebook users

Source: Facebook/Meta

Workplace represents Facebook’s (or rather, Meta’s) foray into internal communications and team collaboration.

Relying on the familiarity of the Facebook interface, Workplace is a comprehensive tool envisioned as a one-stop solution for team communication and collaboration.

Its biggest strength is its intuitive use for anyone familiar with Facebook, as well as unlimited file sharing. It’s even a bit cheaper than Slack, but perhaps not enough to justify migration.

Most of the criticism of the platform has been aimed at its lack of integrations, poor search functionalities, data security concerns, and the recent cancellation of a free plan.

Though the company has responded to some of those concerns (by enabling more third-party app integrations), others (like the lack of a free version of the software) seem to be here to stay.


  • Familiarity of Facebook’s interface
  • Unlimited chat history
  • Unlimited file sharing
  • Voice/video calls
  • 3rd party integrations


  • No free version of the software
  • Users must pay extra for increased admin and support and streaming functionality

Available on: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: 30-day free trial and then $4 per user per month (with $2 add-ons)

Alternative #6: Mattermost — Best open-source platform for developer collaboration

Source: Mattermost

If you’re looking for open-source Slack alternatives, Mattermost is the way to go.

Though its relatively complex setup and use of advanced features may turn off less tech-savvy users, the platform is still popular among software developers.

The option of self-hosting Mattermost has also made it popular among organizations in need of increased data security. So, if your primary concern is cyber security, moving your company communications from Slack to Mattermost would be one way to solve that issue.

However, the app’s setup and maintenance may be too much hassle for smaller teams with no major concerns over data security.


  • Great free plan
  • Unlimited users and messages
  • Unlimited file storage
  • Self-hosting or private cloud deployment
  • One-on-one voice/video calls for free (group calls for paying users)
  • Screen sharing
  • Unlimited plug-ins/app integrations


  • Somewhat complicated for the average user
  • Most of the administrative features are behind the paywall

Available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: free or starting at $10 per user per month

Alternative #7: Flock — Best for Slack migration

Source: Flock

Flock serves as a direct competitor to Slack, aiming to provide slightly more for slightly less.

Its free plan is slightly more generous, and the paid plans are slightly more affordable than what Slack is offering. So in that regard, the app certainly delivers.

Even so, its free plan has some of the same limitations Slack had — namely, limiting its searchable message history to 10,000 messages and offering only 5 GB of file storage space.

Still, that obstacle is much easier to overcome when the cost of entry is lower than what Slack is offering.

Best of all, Flock allows its users to migrate their data from Slack to its own platform. So if you want your new business messaging app to be just like Slack, but slightly cheaper — Flock is your best bet.


  • Unlimited message history in the paid plans
  • One-on-one voice/video calls (group calls for paying users)
  • 10/20 GB of storage per user (Pro/Enterprise)
  • Light and dark interface themes


  • The search function only looks through 10,000 messages in the free version
  • Only 5 GB of storage per team in the free version
  • Group video calls are limited to 20 participants
  • Convoluted to-do functionality

Available on: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: free or starting at $6/$4.50 per user per month (monthly/yearly)

Alternative #8: Chanty — Best secure messaging app

Source: Chanty

Like many of the best Slack alternatives, Chanty offers its users an unlimited messaging history and the ability to communicate via text, audio/video calls, and even voice messages.

Furthermore, any message can be turned into a task and assigned to a team member.

The resulting to-do list can be found on the app’s ‘Teambook’ page, which also allows users to access their private and public conversations, shared links, and files.

The only serious gripe you might have with Chanty is that the free version is limited to only 10 users.

Still, if the rest of these features sound appealing to you, you’ll be glad to know that Chanty’s Business pricing is more affordable than Slack’s paid plans, at least.


  • Unlimited message history
  • Built-in task manager
  • Video/audio calls
  • 20 GB of storage per team in the free version (or per user in the Business version)
  • Light and dark themes
  • Over 1,500 integrations


  • The free plan is limited to 10 users

Available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: free or $4/$3 per user per month (monthly/yearly)

Alternative #9: Twist — Best for asynchronous messaging

Source: Doist

Created by a distributed remote team at the Doist company to cover the needs of, well, a distributed remote team, Twist functions as a sort of a middle ground between an email and a chat.

Its design and functionalities discourage the trivial and often “spammy” aspects of team chats. Namely, it allows a higher degree of organization, while also keeping communication more immediate and responsive than it would be through email.

The key principle of Twist is to enable efficient and structured team communication without constant disruptions.

The lack of video/voice call options, however, may prove to be a deal-breaker for many.


  • Clean interface
  • Well-organized conversations
  • Light/dark interface themes
  • Unlimited message history and users (up to 500 during the trial)
  • Unlimited storage (up to 5 GB per user during the trial)
  • Enables asynchronous messaging without constant disruptions


  • No free version (though there is a free trial)
  • Notable lack of voice and video calling features

Available on: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: 1-month free trial and then starting at $8/$6 per user per month (monthly/yearly)

Alternative #10: Discord — Best for casual use

Source: Discord

While primarily recognized as the gaming community’s communication tool of choice, Discord has also found its use among a number of professional teams.

The main reasons for Discord’s use in the professional context are its familiarity, superior voice and video calls, and a fairly generous free plan.

However, Discord is not primarily a team chat app, and some of its drawbacks (lack of standard text communication options such as threads, for instance) in a team setting are quickly revealed.

Ultimately, with its “unserious” gaming background and an obvious set of weaknesses for the professional arena, Discord should be no match for a proper team communication and collaboration tool.

Even so, its novel, fast-paced style has still made it many teams’ favorite tool for communication.


  • Fantastic free plan
  • Unlimited storage (though the free plan limits the file size to 8 MB)
  • Unlimited chat history
  • Excellent voice and video calls
  • Customizable


  • Not designed for enterprises
  • Limited chat features
  • Lack of collaboration options

Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and as a web app

Price: free or starting at $1.99/$49.99 per user (per month/year)

How to choose the best business messaging software for your team?

If you're on the hunt for apps similar to Slack, any one of the above will suffice.

But ultimately, the choice of a team communication tool should be dictated by the unique makeup of your team and its needs.

If Slack (either in its free plan or in any of the premium options) fully covers those needs, then there's no reason not to go for it.

However, if you're not quite satisfied with it — or even the Slack contenders we have highlighted — you should keep looking until you find the perfect team communication app for your company.

To that end, we wanted to share the criteria we used when compiling the list of apps we wanted to try.

The best Slack alternatives we ended up with were great in terms of the:

  • Number of users they allowed in the free or paid version of the software,
  • Feature package (basics first, and then extras like the more collaborative features),
  • Pricing plans (and the extra features they brought to the table),
  • Quality of the free plan, and/or
  • Adaptability to different team settings.

Questions to consider

Before you start looking for alternatives to Slack, we recommend writing down what you expect to get from the perfect team communication app.

How many people do you have on your team? Do you want to be able to add them to user groups?

Do you ever need to bring in people from outside of the company to internal channels? In that case, you might look for apps that allow you to make guest access accounts.

What kinds of features do you want to get from your internal communication software? Would a lack of voice calls or video conferencing features be a dealbreaker for you?

Then, there's the question of organization. Can the platform you're considering handle the average volume of your team's communication?

Last but not least: how much would you be willing to pay for the features you need? If you're on a tight budget, you can always look for a free Slack alternative that can still offer your team the tools it needs to grow.

Either way, the answers to these questions will help you narrow down your own list of contenders.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Did you want to learn more about an app that's not on our list? Good news — we might have already reviewed it! Check out the following articles from our Chat Comparisons database:

Final thoughts: Find a team communication app that feels tailor-made for your team

Having seen our criteria for choosing the perfect business communication app, you might have a better idea of why we have selected Pumble as the best overall candidate of the bunch.

Even though it has space to grow, no one can deny that in terms of both features and pricing, it's got a leg-up on many of the Slack alternatives we have discussed here.

It is simple, efficient, highly affordable, and security-conscious, and its overall value more than makes up for any deficiencies.

But, as we have established, the best team communication tool is the one that works best for you. So, if nothing else, we hope that our breakdown of different Slack competitors has given you enough information to understand which solution would suit your team the best.