- Reporting by Digiday found that, although brands and agencies never took to enterprise chat app Slack, they are now drawn to Slack competitors like Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace, which offer solutions technology that better fits their needs. Teams was announced just a few weeks ago, and Workplace launched in October.
- Other reasons for the gravitation away from Slack might include the lower cost of Workplace in particular, and the fact that Slack is a standalone app, while the competition offers a robust suite of features that go beyond chat.
- Microsoft Teams isn’t formally released yet, but is being tested by companies that use Office 365; Facebook Workplace has already been adopted by more than 1,000 companies, including TBWA Worldwide, Weber Shandwick, Starbucks and Heineken.
When Microsoft announced Teams just a few weeks ago, Slack bought a full page in The New York Times essentially taunting its newfound competitor with a list of reasons why Slack understands chat better. The move was bold, aping a similar spot Apple ran in the 80s against IBM, but was seen by some as a signal that Slack was nervous at the arrival of a legacy technology competitor. The report from Digiday confirms whatever fears Slack may have had over the arrival of Teams and even Workplace, as they are already favored by many brands and agencies.
“Slack is great when you have to manage a limited number of small teams, but Workplace is much more user-friendly if you are part of a large number of groups with a large number of people.” Nicolas Bordas, vp at TBWA\Europe, told Digiday. “Workplace is not just a communications tool, it is much more than that: It is Slack plus Yammer plus Whatsapp.”
One key differentiator between Slack and its new rivals is that the latter two have communication options like live video conferencing. Microsoft and Facebook also have a leg up on Slack in pure user numbers: Although Workplace is a separate platform from Facebook proper, it offers a similar interface, resulting in a user experience most people might find warmly familiar in a corporate setting.
And Microsoft already has 85 million users on its Office 365 suite, which Teams will integrate with eventually. These numbers compare to Slack’s pale shadow of three million daily active users. Teams and Workplace's launch signals how many larger technology companies (and especially Facebook) are replicating the service models of smaller standalone apps, often squashing them in the process by the sheer virtues of larger infrastructure and a more established brand name.