Teaming up to work has never been easier. Holding conversations, whether via video voice or chat, is extremely easy, thanks to so many software solutions and apps like Skype, Discord, and Slack. Enough about Skype, however. We want the good stuff. Discord and Slack, yeah?
On the one hand, we have what many people tout as the ”best team chat software,” and on the other hand, we have a worthy contender for the same title. We’d be mistaken to think this is a much-anticipated heavyweight title match. In a way, it is. At BestandVS, we remain quite divided between the two software.
In this review, we want to help you decide between Slack and Discord. We had the same dilemma once upon a time. Just like where you may be now, we had a spirited argument among ourselves over each software and its various features. At some point, we had such a deadlock that we chose to – guess what – play Rock Paper Scissors. You won’t have to go through that yourself. After we finish our review, you’ll make an informed decision.
Let’s begin with Slack.
In a nutshell, Slack is a cloud-based platform where teams can collaborate and interact efficiently. Slack can facilitate effective communication in and across organizations. It does not matter what industry you are in. If you need to communicate with someone essential for the progress and success of your project or products, you can do it via Slack. Slack gives you the ability to create public channels where members can freely contribute and interact. You can also create private channels in Slack. Here, you can manage communication for small teams.
You can also send messages to individuals through a direct channel. With Slack, you can share documents, images, and spreadsheets by merely dragging and dropping them. You can also integrate feeds from other social channels. Slack is available as both a web app and a portable application on both Android and Apple devices.
So, What’s in Slack?
Let’s explore some features that make Slack so popular among its users.
Ah yes, Channels, again. As we said before, you can create private or public channels, and you can communicate across organizations. What we haven’t yet told you is that you can organize these channels depending on teams, projects, clients, or any other criteria you may choose.
In public channels, anyone can join and leave at will. This way, communications become flexible. Once a project is completed or terminated, you can close a channel, or members who are no longer vital to the project can leave.
The beauty of threaded conversations in Slack is that you can have side discussions without derailing from the core purpose or topic of the channel. Discussions are also easier to follow. All you have to do is read through the chain and catch up. A string of e-mails that would otherwise be cumbersome.
Face-to-Face & Screen Sharing
This feature is one of our favorites. You can video conference via Slack. You can make a video call to your team members, clients, or project partners. This feature is handy, especially for people who work remotely. You can call to check-in, give progress, or ask questions from your manager.
Another impressive feature is Screen Sharing. You can share your screen with members of your team, and you can discuss charts, spreadsheets, images, or videos. Here, you can also assess the progress someone is making with their work.
Integrated File Sharing
Slack has some awe-inspiring file-sharing services. Firstly, you can internally share documents with your team members by dragging and dropping them into the channel. Your team members can then view and collaborate either by downloading and making changes or by suggesting them to you directly. Slack, secondly, also supports integrations with other platforms. You can integrate Slack to cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, where you can share larger and more resource-intensive project materials.
There’s more. You can view documents on any portable device. You can access these documents easily no matter where you are. Slack also ensures that these documents remain private, and only users with access to them can truly view them.
Slack takes your security seriously. Many companies and businesses that use Slack depend on Slack’s top-notch security standards to ensure both privacy and protection from intrusion. Slack has undergone rigorous testing to ensure that your privacy and security are well-protected.
Slack’s security system has undergone independent compliance testing for security standards. They have met and exceeded the security requirements set by ISO 27001 and HIPAA. Slack supports two-factor authentication. For as long as your data remains within Slack’s servers, it is encrypted. It remains encrypted when you send it, and only the intended recipient can access it.
Enter Discord, a worthy contender by any standard. Many parallels are apparent between Discord and Slack. However, when it comes to Discord, it exists to provide simpler and more convenient conversations for gamers. Much like Slack, Discord also works for teams, and it has both public and private channels for communication.
Even though Discord engineered its platform for gamers, it has many features that companies and businesses can, and are already using. Let’s look at them.
What’s in Discord?
First of all, Discord is entirely free of charge. Discord is open-source software, and therefore it is available for free use by anyone who can access it. This factor should not fool you in any way, though, because Discord is both robust, secure, and feature-filled. Discord excels when it comes to voice communications. Voice communication is the main focus of Discord, especially when offering support to gamers and gaming communities worldwide.
Minimal CPU usage
One of the most annoying things about any other video conferencing software is how they hog CPU resources. This software can considerably slow down the performance of your computer hardware. If you are a gamer, you can relate to this. It is quite an inconvenience. However, Discord does not interfere with any other computer applications. It also does not consume more processing power than it needs to. This feature alone makes Discord more appealing to users than anything else in the market.
The Browser & Mobile Support
Much like Slack, you can access Discord through their web app or their mobile app. You don’t have to download and install Discord. You can also carry your channels and conversations with you on your portable devices. Discord offers extensive browser support, and you don’t need to install their software to use their services locally.
With Discord, you can personally host a server free of charge. These servers are also easy to set up and have a user-friendly interface. Because it is open-source software, Discord has a selection of features that third parties have developed. You can use some of these features to create a bot. Interestingly, you can sign in directly into a server of your choosing and get right into the conversation with other people rather than spending time setting up group calls. You can also easily switch between channels and servers.
Discord & Slack Interface
Slack and Discord have a similar user interface design. They are not identical, however. Slack does a better job of organization. All the channels, apps, and direct conversations are visible on the left panel of the interface. The Discord interface takes some consistent use to feel comfortable.
You can customize the color of the Discord interface to whatever you like. In Slack, the only thing you can customize is the sidebar that displays contacts. This might be a downer for many users who want to customize their interface appearances.
Slack organizes conversation in channels. Discord organizes conversation by dividing channels into voice and text. You can employ roles and permissions in channels in both Discord and Slack. This way, you can quickly implement private servers and channels.
Slack and Discord also share some similarities in voice and video calls. However, we will explore this particular topic more in differences. Now, let’s look at them.
Nothing tells Discord and Slack apart better than pricing. Discord is completely free of charge. Because it is open-source software, it can be used and distributed freely with no penalty for it. There is no limitation on how many features you can have access to, or how you can use them. You get unlimited message history, unlimited server storage, more than 5000 concurrent users and eight users on video calls.
Now, Discord does offer a paid plan, but it tends to be complementary to those who support the project. This plan is called Discord Nitro, and it costs $10 monthly and $100 yearly. They also offer Discord Nitro classic at a $5 monthly fee and $50 yearly fee. These plans give you complimentary but majorly non-essential features like custom discord tags, animated gifs, higher quality video sharing, server boosting and special profile badges.
Slack, compared to Discord, is expensive. Granted, Slack has some features that extend your capabilities while using it. Slack has a free plan, but with some severe limitations that may affect how you use it. These limitations can be quite frustrating. For example, Slack only allows you to view the last 10,000 messages of your team’s most recent messages. This number initially seems enormous, but as soon as your team members increase and your messages pile up, you can lose a lot.
Also, there is a limit to the number of people you can have on a public channel. Slack does not disclose this anywhere on their marketing material, but their service begins to struggle at 5000 users and completely stops at 8500 users. This number is more than enough for most teams, but if you’re trying to build a community on Slack, you will struggle.
Slack also limits the amount of storage you can access on their free plan. You have up to 5GB of file storage available. If you exceed this limit, Slack will archive the rest of your files. You also cannot use more than ten third-party integrations on the free plan.
Slack offers a standard plan, a plus plan, and an enterprise plan. Slack removes most of the limitations imposed on the free plan. The Standard Plan costs between $6.67 and $8 per person, per month. The Plus Plan costs between $12.50 and $15 per person, per month. The Enterprise Grid is a product for large organizations.
On the surface, the Slack and Discord Interface looks very similar. The experience is quite similar, as well. You can use @ to mention; you can upload files and add emojis.
On Slack, however, you have workspaces. Each team you will be part of has a designated workspace, and you must log in to each workspace separately. Once logged in, you can access all channels within the workspace.
On Discord, what you call ”workspaces” becomes servers. This way, once you log into Discord, you have logged into all your servers as well. It is a little different when you want to view private messages. You must navigate out of the server you’re currently into a list of words.
On Discord, you cannot turn a message into a separate conversation. However, on Slack, you can. This feature helps keep discussions organized and on topic. Both interfaces have search functionality, but Slack has a more robust search and filtering feature.
Video & Voice
Let’s look at how voice and video communication differs between Discord and Slack.
In Discord, voice communication is separate from text communication. You access voice channels by clicking on one, and you’ll instantly begin talking to up to 99 other users. This communication works in the background. It does not change or interfere with the interface in any way. The only way you will know you are on a voice communication channel is an indicator on the bottom corner of the app interface.
Discord has a push-to-talk feature that you can use. Other users will only hear you if you press a button. This feature is quite useful if you are on call with multiple people.
With Slack, starting a voice call is a deliberate action. This feature resembles Skype in many ways. You start a call from a direct message, and your client will receive a call notification directly to their device. You can only make a call to a whole channel on paid plans. Up to 15 users can join you in the call by clicking on a link Slack automatically posts to the channel.
With Slack, you can switch between video and voice calls. Discord requires you to start a group DM with other users then video call them. You can share your screen on both Discord and Slack, but on Slack, you can annotate and control the screens of other users.
Discord lets you extend functionality either using bots or their ten native integrations. Unfortunately, these integrations favor gamers. Where gaps are available, Discord users attempt to fill them using bots. These bots are developed by community members using Discord and are relatively easy to set up and use.
Slack offers over 1000 integrations with deep functionality. Therefore, you can extend the functionality of Slack into other applications you use.
If you are a small team of 10-50 people, you don’t need to purchase Slack plans. Slack’s free plan should suffice. If you need extended use and extensive functionality, pick Discord. However, because both products have specific target markets, we’d suggest you use Discord to interact with gamers or for more casual communication. Slack favors more professional communications.
Go ahead and explore both platforms. Tell us what you liked or didn’t like. We chose Slack, not because it was better than Discord, but because it serves our purpose.
Thank you for reading with us today! Let us know in the comments below if you are a gamer and have heard of Discord before? Be sure to check out similar content to improve your business in “Website Builders Compared: Duda VS WordPress (2019)“. Learn how to build your business website today!