Slack is a communication software from the US company Slack Technologies. This was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 2009, but later the company headquarters were moved to San Francisco. Stewart Butterfield, initiator of the picture service Flickr, is one of the founders of Slack. The name "Slack" means "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge".
- Company name: Slack Technologies
- Industry: Communication software, SaaS
- Product: Web-based instant messaging service
- Formation: 2009
- Founders: Stewart Butterfield, Eric Costello, Cal Henderson, and Serguei Mourachov
- Location: San Francisco, California, USA
- Number of employees: 1,664
- Turnover: 401 million USD (2019)
- Subscription product launch: Since beginning
- Total funding: $1.3 billion
- Product costs: Free: 0€/month, Standard: 6.25€/month, Plus: 11.65€/month, Enterprise Grid: On request
Slack subscription – the modern communication software
The Slack software enables the exchange of messages and chatting with individual participants or groups. It is used via browser as a web application or via clients available for the operating systems Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. In 2019, the company recorded more than ten million daily active users. It is available in both a free version with limited features and a subscription. In addition to its headquarters in San Francisco, California, the SaaS provider has offices in Dublin, Vancouver, New York, Toronto, Denver, London, Tokyo, Pune, Paris, Istanbul and Melbourne.
Development of the Slack subscriptions
In 2014 and 2015, the company received several hundred million US dollars in investment. Microsoft initially wanted to take over the company in 2016, but then developed the Microsoft Teams platform, which offers similar functions. A strategic cooperation has existed with Google Cloud since December 2016. Slack and Google jointly developed functionalities with which, for example, a Google Drive bot posts comments and requests for access to Drive documents on Slack.
The company went public in July 2019. The company value is over seven billion US dollars after the financing round in August 2018. With the announcement of the launch of Slack at IBM and Uber, the share price rose by 4% in February 2020.
Slack subscription prices at a glance
The costs for the communication service are per user. Currently, four different packages are offered:
Free Slack subscription: The limitation of the free version is the restriction of the search to the last 10,000 messages. Up to ten external services can be connected and the storage space for files is 5G. In teams with many users who write a lot, the limited search will quickly become noticeable.
The “Standard” Slack subscription: the subscription costs are 6.25 euros per month and user for annual payments. The search in the messages is unlimited, as is the number of external services that can be connected. Each user has 10 GB of storage space. In addition, you receive statistics and can assign guest accesses.
The “Plus”-Slack subscription: this subscription costs 11.75 euros per month and user (annual payment). Here, the user receives extended admin rights and all messages can be exported.
The “Enterprise” Slack subscription is the latest offer from Slack. Here, the user has the option of setting up several separate Slack instances (“workspaces”). This option is particularly useful for large companies to set up chat rooms for their own departments. Each user receives 1TB of storage space. The price is only available individually on request.
Slack subscription: Features that simplify communication
What makes the Slack subscription so popular compared to other chatting apps are the numerous integrations and the well thought-out and constantly improved user-friendliness. Any number of “channels” can be set up in a team. Who is allowed to participate in which channel can be defined. In this way, clear divisions can be made according to projects and departments. In addition, direct chats can also be used to communicate with individual persons.
Files can be uploaded and commented on in all chats. A particularly important feature is the search for files and discussions so that information can be found quickly.
The list of integrations and apps is constantly being expanded. You can link a number of services such as Dropbox, Trello or Twitter with Slack and be informed about news in the other apps in the corresponding channels. There are also numerous extensions and apps that simplify use and communication.
Video and audio calls are also possible, where you can share the screen with other participants. All important functions for collaboration are integrated in the Slack subscription and thus replace many other tools, which explains the success of the communication software. Users no longer have to use many different tools, but find all applications integrated in one provider.
Slack as winner of the crisis
In the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, the German government launched the #WirVsVirus hackathon. Communication mainly took place via Slack, which is why 35,000 participants registered for the communication service.
In addition, due to the contact and exit bans and especially due to the huge increase in people doing home office, the user records for Slack increased. More and more people and companies are taking out Slack subscriptions to stay in touch with colleagues and easily move their workday home. In the process, new user records were broken almost daily – on 25 March 2020, Slack recorded 12.5 million active users.