Rocket.Chat vs Slack: Choosing the right fit for your team

Dunja Jovanovic

Last updated on: August 3, 2022

Are you searching for the right communication tool for your business?

I know how hard it is to find the app that fits your business’ needs and facilitates effective communication within your team(s).

That’s why we’re here to help! 

When you narrow down your decision to 2–3 apps, we’re here to compare them and help you decide.

And, if you’ve been torn between Rocket.Chat and Slack, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll compare Rocket.Chat and Slack’s:

  • Pricing plans,
  • Interface,
  • Communication,
  • Notifications,
  • Search,
  • File sharing and storage,
  • Integrations,
  • Support, and
  • Security.

In the end, we’ll add all the points they got and pronounce the winner of this showdown.

Let’s begin!

Rocket.Chat vs Slack: Choosing the right fit for your team

Rocket.Chat vs Slack overview

Before we start comparing Rocket.Chat and Slack category by category, let’s do an overview of both apps. 

According to their site, Rocket.Chat is the world’s largest open-source communication platform.

It lets you communicate and collaborate with coworkers, other companies, customers, and communities.

You can also create a custom messaging experience by integrating and white-labeling Rocket.Chat components and enterprise features. 

Moreover, this app allows you to extend and customize your workspace with custom apps, open APIs, powerful plugins, and webhooks.

Rocket.Chat
Rocket.Chat

Slack is a popular communication platform, mostly used by businesses for internal communication — but it also lets you communicate with people outside your company.

Communication is organized in spaces called channels — so you can find all people, messages, and files related to a certain topic in one place.

Slack allows you to choose when and how you want to communicate, with advanced notification options and the ability to communicate both live and asynchronously.

Slack
Slack

Here’s a side-by-side overview of the apps’ main features. 

FeaturesRocket.ChatSlack
Pricing plans– Free
– Enterprise ($7 per user per month)
– Free
– Pro ($7.25 per user per month)
– Business+ ($12.50 per user per month)
– Enterprise Grid
InterfaceMinimalist and easy to navigateSimple and user-friendly
Communication– Instant messages
– Audio and video calls
– Instant messages
– Audio and video calls
NotificationsBasic notification configurationAdvanced notification configuration
SearchAdvanced filtered search optionsAdvanced filtered search options
File sharing and storageExternal storage– Free: 5GB storage for the entire workspace
– Pro: 10GB per member
– Business+: 20GB per member
– Enterprise Grid: 1TB per member
IntegrationsOver 100 integrationsOver 2,400 integrations
Support– Peer-to-peer community assistance
– Help desk/Knowledge base
– Email/Help Desk
– FAQs/Forum
– Knowledge Base
Security– Standard security
– End-to-end encryption
– Self-hosting
Standard security 

Now, let’s get into detail for each category. 

Rocket.Chat vs Slack pricing 1:0

Pricing often turns out to play the biggest role when making a decision — so, let’s start with that.

Rocket.Chat has two pricing plans: Community and Enterprise.

The Community plan is free — and it’s ideal for small teams since it offers plenty of features, including:

  • Unlimited 1:1 and group messaging,
  • End-to-end encryption,
  • Full messaging history, and more.

The Enterprise plan has the following pricing system:

  • $7 per user per month (for a minimum of 25 users), or
  • $35 per omnichannel agent per month (for a minimum of 5 agents).

With this plan, you unlock many more valuable features. 

If you need something that’s not included in the Enterprise plan, such as additional customer support or services (e.g. upgrading and scaling or data migration), you can purchase add-ons that will support all your needs.

Rocket.Chat pricing plans
Rocket.Chat pricing plans

Slack, on the other hand, is more expensive.

What’s more, starting from September 1, 2022, Slack will increase some of its prices and upgrade Free and Pro plans.

What does that mean?

  • The Free plan is still free (as you’d expect). However, instead of allowing users to see the last 10,000 messages and up to 5GB of uploaded files, it will start showing all messages and files sent in the last 90 days.
  • The Pro plan is changing from $8 to $8.75 per user per month — or, if you purchased the annual Pro subscription, from $6.67 to $7.25 per user per month.
  • The prices of Business+ and Enterprise Grid plans stay the same: Business+ is $12.50 per user per month (with the annual subscription), while the price of the Enterprise Grid plan depends on your team and its needs.
Some of Slack’s pricing plans
Some of Slack’s pricing plans

Since Rocket.Chat offers a variety of features with a lower price tag, it wins this round.

PricingRocket.ChatSlack
Free planYesYes
Cheapest paid plan$7 per user per month$7.25 per user per month
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Rocket.Chat vs Slack interface 1:0

Rocket.Chat and Slack have quite a similar interface. The chat you’re in takes the majority of the screen, while on the left sidebar you can see your channels and direct messages.

Both are fairly intuitive, easy to use, and have customization options.

Rocket.Chat has a clean, minimalist look.

You can also customize the look of your Rocket.Chat server. The customizable elements involve colors, content, CSS, and Javascript.

Rocket.Chat's interface
Rocket.Chat’s interface

Slack’s UI has a different aesthetic, but it’s also user-friendly and easy to navigate. 

Among other things, you can:

  • Customize the sidebar, 
  • Pick a theme, and 
  • Add custom emojis.
Slack’s interface
Slack’s interface

In this round, it’s almost a tie. 

But, since Rocket.Chat offers more room for customization, it gets a point.

InterfaceRocket.ChatSlack
LayoutMinimalist and easy to navigateSimple and user-friendly
CustomizationAdvancedAdvanced
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack communication 1:1

Both apps have a plethora of features to make communication as smooth as possible.

Rocket.Chat offers features such as:

  • Organizing conversations into public and private channels
  • Messaging people outside Rocket.Chat
  • Audio and video calls
  • File sharing
  • Making custom workflows
  • Search option
  • Unlimited chat history
  • Emojis and GIFs
  • @mentions
  • Location sharing

It’s just important to note that to access some of these features, you have to enable them in the settings.

Communication from Rocket.Chat with a customer on WhatsApp
Communication from Rocket.Chat with a customer on WhatsApp

Now, let’s have a look at Slack’s features:

  • Organizing conversations into public and private channels
  • Sharing files
  • Audio and video calls
  • Scheduling messages
  • Creating polls
  • Search option
  • Editing and deleting messages
  • Emojis and GIFs
  • Formatting messages
  • @mentions 
Communication on Slack
Communication on Slack

Considering all the useful options both apps have — this time, it’s actually a tie.

CommunicationRocket.ChatSlack
Chat historyUnlimitedLast 90 days with the Free plan
Mentions and reactionsYesYes
ThreadsYesYes
ChannelsYesYes
Message formattingYesYes
Emojis and GIFsYesYes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack notifications 0:1

Many people have a love-hate relationship with notifications.

On one hand, no one wants to miss an important message.

But, hearing a familiar buzz every so often can be incredibly distracting.

That’s why it’s important to have advanced notification options in your business messaging app.

On Rocket.Chat, you can choose to get notifications for all messages, just mentions, or to receive no notifications.

If you are idle for 60 seconds on the desktop app, you will be considered away and get notifications on your mobile device.

Rocket.Chat notification settings
Rocket.Chat notification settings

Notifications on Slack are highly customizable. 

You can pick whether you’ll receive all notifications, some of them, or none. If you pick the first option, you’ll be notified when:

  • You get a direct message from someone
  • Someone mentions you
  • You get a reply on a thread you’re following
  • You receive a message from Slackbot

You can also decide when you’ll receive notifications, as well as activate Do Not Disturb mode when you want to immerse yourself in work.

If you’re expecting an important message but you’re not by your computer, you can choose to be notified on your mobile device.

Notification settings on Slack
Notification settings on Slack

Obviously, Slack wins this round due to its more sophisticated notification settings.

NotificationsRocket.ChatSlack
Notification configurationBasicAdvanced
Do Not DisturbNo (but, the app is customizable so you can add it)Yes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack search 0:1

Time is money — and no one wants to spend more time looking for a specific message/file than it’s absolutely necessary. 

To be as productive as you can be, a good search option is a must.

On Rocket.Chat, every user gets unlimited access to full messaging history, even in the Free plan. 

You can search messages and apply different search filters, e.g.:

  • Messages created by you
  • Messages created by a specific person
  • Starred messages
  • Pinned messages in a channel
  • Messages that contain a link
  • Messages that have a location attached
  • Messages sent within the chosen time frame
Rocket Chat search
Search option on Rocket.Chat

On Slack, you can search not only through messages, but also:

  • Files,
  • People, and
  • Channels.

You can also search within documents, which saves a lot of time.

If you have a vague idea of where the message you’re searching for could be, you can also pick a time frame for your search or exclude specific channels.

Search options on Slack
Search options on Slack

Even though Rocket.Chat offers valuable options for facilitating your searches, file search is what gives Slack a win this time.

SearchRocket.ChatSlack
Message and channel searchYesYes
File and people searchNoYes
FiltersYesYes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack file sharing and storage 0:1

Sharing documents and files is a big part of a regular workday — so, for a workday to go smoothly, file sharing should be fast and easy. 

Rocket.Chat allows you to share the following, with complete data protection:

  • Files, 
  • Documents, 
  • Photos, and 
  • Videos from your computer, device, or cloud storage.

It has unlimited messages and full message history even in the Free plan.

When it comes to storage, Rocket.Chat uses external storage.

File sharing in Rocket.Chat
File sharing in Rocket.Chat

Slack lets you share all kinds of files of up to 1GB in size — images, videos, audio files, PDF files, etc.

Different plans get you different storage options:

  • Free: 5GB for the entire workspace
  • Pro: 10GB per member
  • Business+: 20GB per member
  • Enterprise Grid: 1TB per member
File sharing in Slack
File sharing in Slack

Since Slack has more file sharing and storage options, it wins this round.

File sharing and storageRocket.ChatSlack
Free file storageNo information availableYes
Secure file sharingYesNo
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack integrations 0:1

When you’re working on a project, you often have to use many different apps and tools. And, for efficient and uninterrupted workflow, it helps if those apps and tools are connected.

That’s why the more integrations the app offers — the better.

Rocket.Chat supports more than 100 integrations in 26 different categories. Some of them are:

  • Communication apps — like Jitsi, Zoom, Webex, Slack, and MS Teams
  • CRM and Productivity apps — like HubSpot, Salesforce, Dropbox, and Search
  • Social media and chat apps — from SMS and email to Telegram, WhatsApp, Live Chat, Twitter, Messenger, etc.
  • DevOps software — such as Jira, BitBucket, Bamboo, Confluence, and GitLab
Some of Rocket.Chat integrations
Some of Rocket.Chat integrations

Slack’s integrations are even more impressive — you can choose from 2,400+ integration options.

They are also divided into categories, for easier search.

Apart from classic app categories (such as Design, File Management, Productivity, etc.), in Slack App Directory you can find categories such as:

  • Working from home apps — like Google Drive, Zoom, Trello, and Google Calendar 
  • Daily Tools apps — such as Slack for Gmail, Dropbox, Box, and Google Shhets for Workflow Builder
  • New & Noteworthy apps — like Figma and FigJam, Lucidchart, Typeform, and Canva
Some of Slack’s integrations
Some of Slack’s integrations

You’ve guessed it — Slack is the winner of this round.

IntegrationsRocket.ChatSlack
Number of integrationsOver 100 appsOver 2,400 apps
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack support 0:1

Rocket.Chat offers a lot of support options. With the Free plan, you get: 

  • Peer-to-peer community assistance
  • Help desk/Knowledge base

With the Enterprise plan, you get even more support:

  • Web support portal
  • Phone & email support (with additional Support packages)
  • 30-minute or 2-hour high priority tickets (with additional Support packages)
  • Dedicated CSM (with additional Support packages)
Rocket.Chat’s Help Desk
Rocket.Chat’s Help Desk

Now, let’s see what Slack offers.

With the Free plan, you have the following at your disposal:

  • Email/Help Desk
  • FAQs/Forum
  • Knowledge Base

The Pro plan offers 24/7 priority support too.

With Business+, you also get a 4-hour response time and 99.99% guaranteed uptime.

Enterprise Grid offers, on top of all the things mentioned above, tailored support with a designated account and customer success team.

Slack’s Help Center
Slack’s Help Center

Because of all the advanced options it offers, we have to give this point to Slack.

SupportRocket.ChatSlack
Customer supportMediumAdvanced
Knowledge baseYesYes
Customer success teamNoYes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack security 1:0

Protecting your data is crucial, especially if you’re a business. Because of that, you shouldn’t take security options (or lack thereof) lightly. 

Rocket.Chat cares a lot about your data security.

They promise full data privacy and let you have complete ownership of your data.

Their security includes:

  • ISO 27001 certification
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Secure push notifications 
  • GDPR, HIPAA, FINRA, FedRAMP compliances
  • Self-hosting option

Slack also puts a lot of effort into protecting your data. It encrypts data at rest as well as in transit. 

Slack’s security certifications include:

  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • SOC 2
  • SOC 3
  • CSA
  • APEC

Since Rocket.Chat offers more security options, it’s the champion of this round.

SecurityRocket.ChatSlack
Advanced securityYesYes
Data encryptionYesYes
Self-hostingYesNo
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rocket.Chat vs Slack verdict 4:6

After everything is said and done, it is time to find out the final verdict.

FeaturesRocket.ChatSlack
Pricing10
Interface10
Communication11
Notifications01
Search01
File sharing and storage01
Integrations01
Support01
Security10
Total score46

As you can see, it was a fair battle. 

And, for the final verdict — Slack is the winner.

Both apps have their strengths and weaknesses — it’s just a matter of what features are important to you and your team.

Of course, when it comes to business messaging apps, there are other options as well.

Looking for a Rocket.Chat or Slack alternative? Try Pumble

If neither Rocket.Chat or Slack are right up your alley, another great communication tool to look into is the free team messaging app Pumble.

Pumble offers:

  • Unlimited users and chat history for free
  • Customizable notifications
  • An intuitive, user-friendly interface
  • Guest access 
  • Audio and video calls 
  • 10GB of free storage space per workspace
  • And many other features.
Pumble
Pumble

So, if you want a tool that provides secure and effective communication, sign up for a free Pumble account now and try it out yourself!

✉️ Have you tried Rocket.Chat or Slack? What do you think about these apps? What are your favorite features of theirs?

Let us know at blogfedback@pumble.com for a chance to be featured in this or one of our future posts.

Author: DunjaJovanovic

Dunja Jovanovic is a writer and researcher passionate about communication and psychology, especially in a professional setting. As she's no stranger to working remotely, she likes helping others survive in a virtual work environment and communicate as effectively as possible. When she's not writing, she's probably trying out the communication improvement strategies she stumbled upon during her never-ending research.

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