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Slack vs. Microsoft Teams vs. Facebook Workplace: Which Team Collaboration Tool Will Reign Supreme?

11 November 2016, 2:23 pm EST By Regina Festin Tech Times
Slack is the reigning king of online work collaboration apps, but Microsoft and Facebook are not planning to back away from the competition with their respective Teams and Workplace platforms. With their similarities and differences, which app will reign supreme?  ( Microsoft )

Collaborating and chatting with coworkers in the past were all about whiteboards and walled rooms. These days, team collaboration is more on emailing, video calling and instant messaging.

Apps such as Basecamp, Trello, Asana, Slack, Skype among others were developed to serve such purpose — to provide a convenient environment that users and team members can access wherever they are and at any time.

Despite the lackluster success of Microsoft's Skype app, Slack has become the de facto king of online workplace collaboration platforms. Since its launch in 2013, the company's value rose to more than $3 billion with over 1.25 million users worldwide and 33,000 paid teams using it.

It looks like Microsoft and Facebook have not been sitting idly admiring Slack's success, as the two tech giants were reportedly working on their own versions of an online workplace collaborative app — Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace. So what do these new apps have that will make users ditch Slack?

Slack vs Microsoft Teams

Slack and Microsoft Teams have the basics covered with the availability of general chat rooms and one-on-one private messaging. Both platforms also offer users the ability to create personal channels for certain tasks and invite whoever they want. Plus both apps allow users to search through different channels, files and team member profiles.

Microsoft Teams, however, has a feature that alerts a team member and directly points them to the specific content they should see within the said channel. So there is no need to dig through a lengthy conversation after logging in a few hours later. Second, Microsoft Teams has a polling tool feature to easily know the team's reactions to an idea or a subject.

Slack users first need to download a plug-in to access the same feature.

Microsoft Teams also makes GIFs and memes readily searchable for those badly needed icebreakers during work. While audio and video chat is present for both platforms, Microsoft Teams created chatbots to let users go over a chat, browse the interface or provide information on specific team members.

Microsoft has also integrated all Office 365 apps and services such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Skype and OneNote within the Teams app.

Slack vs Facebook Workplace

First unveiled last January 2015 as Facebook at Work, Facebook's Workplace app is currently in beta phase for more than a year. It already has 1,000 companies and more than 100,000 teams using it including the Royal Bank of Scotland and Danone.

Workplace's distinct advantage against Slack and other platforms is that its user interface was based on what a quarter of the world's population are using — Facebook.

Just like the original Facebook, users can find a News Feed section, chat in groups or privately, share documents and do audio or video calls within the chat rooms.

A relatively new feature, Facebook Live, is also present on the Workplace app that developers hope could facilitate live Q&A sessions to open up communication and transparency, a function that Slack lacks at this time.

Furthermore, where Slack's monthly subscription tags at $6.67 per account, Facebook Workplace's monthly subscription is rather cheap at $3 each for up to 1,000 users, $2 for 1,001 to 10,000 active users and $1 for more than 10,001 users.

The worldwide availability of both Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace has yet to be announced.

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