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Google Spaces vs. Slack: Which Group Messaging App Has The Better Features

17 May 2016, 5:08 pm EDT By Lauren Keating Tech Times
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With the amount of messaging apps available in the app stores, sending group texts seems so 2000. Instead, group messaging apps are all the rage right now.

These platforms allow users to send and receive messages with other users in real-time, and include other fancy features like video calling, document sharing and even the use of chatbots, depending on the platform.

Now, Google is proving that group-sharing apps can be a whole lot more than just a place to make weekend plans with your friends or chat with coworkers regarding your team's current project.

Google launched a new group-messaging app called Spaces on Monday that allows users to share content with friends based on a specific topic or tailored to a select group of people.

This description might sound familiar to those who use Slack, which also lets users communicate in channels that are specific to topics. You might now be wondering if it's even worth checking out Google's new group-sharing app (since there is already Google Hangouts and Google+) or simply sticking with the platform your friends and coworkers already use.

We are putting Spaces and Slack head-to-head to explore their similarities and differences. Here are all the details about the group-messaging apps and which has the better features.

Google Spaces

Available for iOS, Android and the Web (with a Gmail account), Spaces creates a centralized place where users can participate in group conversations and share content like photos, videos and articles without having to leave the app thanks to Google search and YouTube integration.

How it works:

• Tap on a board to create a space.
• Title the space and save.
• Tap on "invite via" to add friends to this conversation (via text, email, Facebook, etc.).
• Tap on the middle arrow icon to post in the space.
• Tap on the link icon to search and post a URL, tap the video icon to search and post from YouTube, the photo icon to post from your camera roll or the quotes icon to post text.
• Tap on the "Spaces" tab on the bottom left to see all boards, or use the search bar.
• Notifications will appear under the "Activity" tab.
• Friends can then comment directly on the board with their own text, links, videos, etc.

Users can further customize each of their Spaces by tapping on the three dots when in that board. They can swipe to change the color, choose a cover photo and view and manage the people in the space.

Best feature: Being able to share content without having to pause from a conversation to open another app or do a quick Safari search, as well as respond immediately to whatever your friend posted (with adorable stickers, too!) as it relates to that board.

Worst feature: Focus is more on sharing then texting, so it can be awkward to use at first. Having multiple boards that the same group of friends are part of can be annoying when you have to keep switching back and forth.

Slack

Available for iOS, Android and the Web (via browser or standalone app), Slack is also a centralized location where users can chat and send links, but is catered more toward increasing productivity at work.

How it works:

• Create or log in to a team via email.
• Tap on the plus sign to create a channel (names are identified by hashtag) and invite others to join.
• Users can then chat with each other in specific channels or via a direct message.

Best feature: Integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, Twitter, etc. for sharing files and communicating with the entire office or group of friends.

Worst feature: This might be your work go-to app, so you may prefer to use another platform for friends.

The Verdict

Although both apps have the same concept, messaging is more familiar on Slack since it follows an instant messaging look for its list of channels/contacts. Spaces bring its A-game to organizing conversations and is the app to use for those who love Google platforms.

Source: Google Blog

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