How much does Slack cost?

Slack offers both free and premium membership plans. 

The 4 Slack pricing tiers include: 

  1. Free
  2. Pro ($8.75 user/month), 
  3. Business+ ($15 user/month), and 
  4. Enterprise Grid (quoted separately upon request).

Let’s take a look at the table below to get a brief breakdown of Slack plans.

Free Pro Business+ Enterprise Grid
$0 $8.75 per month per user
$15 month per user
(upon request)
Most recent 90 days of message history Unlimited search
Data exports for all messages
Employee directory
1:1 audio and video calls Audio and video calls for up to 50 participants
SAML-based SSO
Custom templates
Up to 10 app integrations Unlimited app integrations
99.99% guaranteed uptime SLA
24/7 priority support

The Free plan offers a limited experience with restricted searchable message history, only two people per video call, and limited storage.

Searchable messages, screen sharing, third-party app integrations, and other more advanced features are available with premium memberships.

Slack's pricing plans
Slack's pricing plans

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Let’s explore in greater detail all Slack’s plans have to offer — by breaking down each tier.

Slack Free plan features and limitations

Slack has had a freemium strategy since its debut. 

However, the Free plan offers only basic functionality with significant limits. 

With the Slack’s Free plan, you can: 

  • Create one workspace,
  • Collaborate in Slack canvases (in DMs and channels only),
  • Have 1:1 video and audio calls, 
  • Integrate up to 10 of your favorite apps, and 
  • Search the most recent 90 days of your message history and file storage

Free plan users have expanded access to new features, though, allowing anyone to send audio and video and screen-share messages in direct messages and channels. This gives teams the freedom to have asynchronous updates and reduces the amount of meetings needed. 

Still, Slack’s Free plan seems far from suitable for any substantial professional team communication.  

There are specific limitations in Slack’s Free plan that may be dealbreakers for most teams. 

Let’s explore these in more detail.

Limitation #1: Limited message history

Although the Free version gives you access to some core Slack features — this plan only lets you access messages from the most recent 90 days. 

This means that you can’t find any older messages and files even in workspace search results, as they’re gone for good to make room for new ones. 

This is an improvement from the previous version that limited the number of messages and the amount of storage, yet, you’re still restricted by days, which is a major downside. What if, for example, you happen to need some data from 4 or 6 months ago?

Limitation #2: Up to 10 third-party integrations

Workspaces with the Free subscription plan are limited to 10 applications. 

Slack's Free version doesn’t provide unlimited access to all third-party apps.

You need to upgrade your workspace or delete some of your current applications if you want to add new apps on Slack’s Free plan.

Limitation #3: One-on-one video calls

If you're on the Free plan, you can kiss the team meetings or conferences goodbye. While Slack supports the audio/video capability, in the Free plan, you can only communicate with one person at a time. 

You'll need to upgrade to one of Slack's paid plans if you want to virtually meet with more than one person at a time. 

Still, Slack limits you to only 50 participants per meeting on all premium plans, which can be a deal breaker for mid-sized to large teams relying on effective team collaboration to get their best job done. 

This limitation is especially significant if we consider the higher-end pricing Slack charges, which doesn't always reflect the value you can get for that amount of money.

Limitation #4: File storage

Free Slack users also have to deal with a 90-day limitation on their file storage. 

This means your team members can't access any files exceeding this time frame. Slack starts archiving the oldest files to make room for new ones, so your team won’t be able to view the archived files in channels, search results, or direct messages.

Deleted files cannot be restored if you upgrade to a paid plan later on, and deleted content won’t be included in a workspace data export.

The good news is that all the archived files will become visible again once you upgrade to a paid subscription.

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All in all, the Free Slack version basically offers a sneak peek at its core functionality, but any substantial communication requires switching to a paid plan. It might be a great choice for small teams on a budget, though — if you don’t mind limited message history and integrations.

Slack Pro plan features and limitations

The Pro plan is an upgrade from the Free plan meant for small and medium-sized businesses.

Even though it removes most of the limitations from the Free tier, it is on the pricier side, which essentially overrides any benefits. 

On September 1, 2022, monthly Slack Pro plans increased from $8 to $8.75 per user per month, and annual Pro plans went from $6.67 per user per month to $7.25.

Features included in the Slack Pro plan are:

  • Screen sharing,
  • Unlimited app integrations,
  • Group video calls with up to 50 people,
  • Guest accounts,
  • Unlimited message history, and
  • Slack Huddles, which lets you start a live voice conversation in a channel or direct message.

You also gain access to Google login and 24/7 customer support — not a priority version, though.

So, it isn't the entire Slack package yet, but it has many useful features.

For many businesses, though, the cost is a significant investment — and many don’t find the high-end pricing justified — so bear that in mind when considering upgrading your Slack account.

Slack Business+ plan features and limitations

Next Slack’s paid plan in line is Business+. 

Benefits of the Slack Business+ plan include:

  • Advanced identity management through SAML-based SSO,
  • Compliance requirements met with data exports for all messages, and 
  • Around-the-clock teamwork and assistance with 99.99% guaranteed uptime and 24/7 support with a 4-hour response time.

When you subscribe to the Business+ plan, you have access to extra services such as guaranteed 99.99% uptime SLA. This means that you’ll be refunded if Slack's servers are down for an extended length of time. 

The Business+ plan also gives you access to message activity analytics to help you keep track of your internal communications campaigns. 

However, the pricing is one significant limitation of this plan. If you pay annually, the Business+ plan will cost you $12.50 per user — or $15 per user per month if you choose a monthly billing plan.

Slack Enterprise Grid plan features and limitation

The Enterprise Grid plan is best suited for large companies with hundreds or thousands of employees. 

You can section your organization into smaller and more manageable Slack workspaces while maintaining a healthy cross-functional collaboration in shared channels. 

The cost of this plan varies depending on several criteria and is available upon request, but it may be worthwhile to pay the extra money.

Enterprise Grid plan comes with security and governance features that are non-negotiable in regulated industries like financial services and healthcare, as well as eDiscovery capabilities that are essential for in-house legal teams that need to gain access to files and conversations in Slack.

Some of the benefits of Slack’s Enterprise Grid Plan are:

  • Unlimited workspaces,
  • Easier administration for admins and users,
  • Improved security,
  • Allowed integration with Monitoring and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions, and 
  • Archiving and Data Retention.

Businesses can use Slack Enterprise Grid plan to construct communication systems with centralized control. The structure reflects the way your company operates. When needed, channels from multiple workspaces may be shared, and you can also interact with external partners.

Still, Slack caps its maximum meeting capacity at 50 participants even in its priciest plan, which is a significant limitation considering the cost.

Is Slack the right solution for you?

While admittedly a powerful tool, Slack is not an ideal fit for every team. 

So, the question of whether or not Slack is the right solution for you ultimately boils down to your team and your specific needs. 

The key downside for many, however, is its affordability — or lack thereof.

As an illustration, let’s say you run a medium-sized company with 100 employees, all of whom need to be on Slack to keep your internal communication effective and your business running smoothly. Moreover, you’ll have to purchase at least the first-tier paid plan — Pro, at $8.75 per user per month — to keep your basic collaboration in check with searchable message history and group audio and video meetings. 

In that case, your monthly Slack costs will amount to a whopping $875 ($10,500 per year), or $727 ($8,724 per year), if you opt for the annual subscription. If you have a larger staff of, for example, 1000 team members, the yearly Slack price ($105,000) will undoubtedly have a significant impact on your budget.

And, you’re still only able to host half of your team in audio and video meetings. What’s more, even the highest price plan still only lets you have 50 participants per meeting max, which is super limiting, especially considering the price.  

This is not the only issue users find with Slack. 

It can be quite impractical for large and or complex projects where many facets of work need to be discussed. Many have found Slack’s frenetic pace of communication itself to be distracting, and the new navigation bar confusing.

In short, Slack does not work equally well for everyone.

This is where a free Slack alternative — such as Pumble — comes in handy.

What is Slack’s alternative, Pumble?

Pumble is an all-in-one team communication app that allows teams of all sizes to collaborate and communicate. 

Unlike Slack, it offers unlimited users and history — all for free. 

Pumble is available on all platforms — primarily as a web browser app but also on desktop and mobile.

Pumble offers:

  • Unlimited users,
  • Unlimited chat history,
  • Voice, video calls, and screen sharing,
  • Meeting recording,
  • Guest access,
  • User and workspace administration tools, and
  • 24/7 customer support.
Pumble app screenshot
Pumble workspace

Pumble holds the essence of what Slack does well while eliminating its biggest downsides. 

It is super easy to sign up, set up, and include others. 

Pumble lets your team communicate and access the entire message history from the beginning for free. 

What’s more, it is committed to keeping its core features free forever

The paid plans are highly affordable, letting you make the most of the app without destroying your budget.

For $2.49 per user per month (billed annually), the Pumble PRO plan offers (along with features already included in the Free plan): 

  • External access to calls, 
  • 10 GB of storage space per user, 
  • Group video and audio conferencing, and 
  • Customizable sections. 

The Pumble BUSINESS plan costs $3.99 per user per month, and it lets you: 

  • Have more storage space — 20 GB per user, 
  • Host more people in video and audio meetings (up to 50 participants), 
  • Record meetings,
  • Guest access, 
  • Manage posting permissions, 
  • Create user groups, and 
  • Integrate Pumble with unlimited third-party apps. 

The Pumble ENTERPRISE plan makes your workspace more secure and compliant with Single Sign-On and Data retention for $6.99 per user per month. Plus, you’ll get 100 GB of storage space per user. This plan is especially suitable for legal, financial, and healthcare institutions.

Pumble has world-class priority customer support available 24 hours, every day of the week. You’re guaranteed a 99.99% uptime, which is an industry-leading standard for availability.

Pumble's pricing plans
Pumble pricing plans

How do Slack and Pumble compare?

The main differences between Slack and Pumble are the cost-value ratio and message history.

Although Slack offers an extensive list of features, it’s hardly a great value for money. 

Slack notoriously limits your message history and file storage to the most recent 90 days in the Free plan. 

Pumble consistently offers more core value for less money. 

Here’s a breakdown of how the two apps compare in main categories.

Features Slack Pumble
Message history Limited to the recent 90 days in the Free plan
Unlimited in the Free plan
File storage Limited to the recent 90 days in the Free plan
Starting from 10 GB in the FREE plan, no time limit
Pricing Starting from $7.25 per user per month (billed annually)
Starting from $2.49 per user per month (billed annually)
Interface Confusing navigation bar
User-friendly
Meeting recording Not available
Available in the BUSINESS and ENTERPRISE plans

According to existing Pumble users, the main reasons for switching from Slack to Pumble include:

  • A better cost-value ratio, 
  • Unlimited free chat history, 
  • A simple, user-friendly approach to communication, and 
  • Trust built by previously using Clockify (a time tracker created by the same team).
Why do people choose Pumble instead of Slack
Why do people choose Pumble instead of Slack

So, to get a clearer picture of how the two apps compare in terms of the main criterion — cost-value ratio — let’s revisit our example from before. 

Pumble can save you $676 per month (or 77.25%) with an annual subscription for a team of 100 members, compared to the price you’d have to pay for an equivalent Slack plan for the same team size (the Pro plan, at $7.25 per month per user when billed annually). With Pumble, you’ll pay only $2.49 per user per month for the annual subscription, or $2.99 per user per month if billed monthly for the Pumble PRO plan.

Try Pumble instead of Slack

If keeping your chat history is critical for your project development, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on Slack’s paid plans to keep your entire team in sync, it might be time to consider switching to Pumble. 

Pumble keeps the core of what you appreciate about Slack’s approach to team communication — minus the limiting restrictions. 

Try Pumble, and experience: 

  • A more intuitive user interface — Pumble is easy to set up and use with a clean layout that lets you focus on the conversations, unlike Slack's new confusing navigation bar, which has users running for the hills. 
  • More affordable pricing — Starting from the FREE plan, Pumble consistently offers a better cost-value ratio. The BUSINESS plan in Pumble (at $3.99) costs almost half of the cheapest plan in Slack (Pro plan at $7.25 when billed annually). 
  • Unlimited message history — Access all your conversations and files no matter which plan you are on. Keep track of all decisions and access any file ever exchanged. 
  • Meeting recording — Record your Pumble meetings to keep everything on file and share recordings with your team. Let your teammates access the recordings at their convenience and promote asynchronous team communication. 

Avoid time restrictions and extortionate rates — try Pumble out today!

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