Slack vs Microsoft Teams

Choosing the right tool for your business is one essential part of the whole workflow. The right tool can greatly increase the team’s efficiency and productivity, whereas the wrong tool will only become a hindrance rather than a help. There are two collaboration tools that are very popular right now: Slack vs Microsoft Teams. These collaboration tools can help to facilitate your team to work together.

Slack has been around for some time. It is considered as a lightweight yet powerful communication engine. It seems to enjoy taking the underdog disrupt or role, as it ‘welcomed’ Microsoft Teams to the competition by taking a full-page ad in New York Times and offering several frankly condescending advices. Of course, Microsoft’s new integrated collaboration app looks and feels like Slack. But Microsoft Teams also has some very distinctive features and functions that set these platforms apart. Let’s continue reading below for the more detailed comparisons of Slack vs Microsoft Teams.

User Experience
You can see the obvious resemblances between Slack and Microsoft Teams. Just like Slack, Microsoft Teams has a left-hand navigation bar which lists the available channels in the workspace. However, unlike Slack, Microsoft Teams has added tabs for Activity, Teams, Chat, Messages, and Files. The Activity dashboard is a feed that informs you about everything currently going on in the organization. Meanwhile, the Chat and Teams tabs will notify you about messages that require your attention.

You can also add additional tabs to the top of the channel. You can use these tabs to receive shared content according to specific file types. These tabs can also help you reduce unnecessary information in a conversation, and make them more organized.

Slack lets you customize the skin of the interface with various theme options, which is a very nice thing to reduce the boredom in the workplace. Currently, Microsoft Teams isn’t there yet. There are only three theme options in Microsoft Teams so far, which are a default light theme, a dark theme, and a high-contrast theme for the visually impaired.

Take a look : Slack vs Confluence.

Conversations and In-Line Replies
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams allow you to send direct messages to coworkers. Their conversation bars allow you to send emojis, stickers, and file attachments. However, regarding the communication flow, Slack has been criticized for not having in-line replies. So, users who missed a few lines may need to scroll up to understand the current conversation context.

Microsoft Teams may have heard about this, which is why the company has greatly improved topic conversations by allowing users to reply directly to individual questions and questions. This feature helps to maintain clarity and to reduce the risk of miscommunication.

Emojis, Stickers, Memes
One of the most fun aspects of Slack is the integrations, especially the ones about custom emojis and GIFs. Slack allows you to integrate Giphy, the first and largest GIF search engine, as easily and efficiently as possible. You can also limit the content that the integration will produce by adjusting the allowed rating. If you want to avoid awkward images, simply set the rating to ‘G’ for general audience. And there are plenty of secret commands in the integration that you can further customize!

Apparently, Microsoft understands that the modern culture is now defined by memes, so the developer team has not only taken all the functionality but also layered deeper customization. First and foremost, Microsoft Teams also has a Giphy integration, along with the ability to preview the GIF that you are about to pull up. Microsoft Teams also has a pop-up window that is very similar to Facebook Sticker with a list of different options for workplace humor.

But the greatest addition is the custom meme generator. If you click the meme option, you can choose a popular meme layout or upload a custom image, and then add the top and bottom text. Awesome, isn’t it? Just make sure that you don’t get caught using your grumpy boss’s pic for a catchy meme.

Assistant Bot
Every Slack user should know Slackbot. It is the private chat window where you can send yourself links, try out GIFs and integrations, or upload private files. You can also ask some simple questions regarding Slack’s features and functions, and Slackbot will try its best to answer your questions.

On the other hand, Microsoft Teams comes with two built-in bots, which are T-Bot and WhoBot. T-Bot is the equivalent of Slackbot, as it will also answer your basic questions, but it has multiple user interfaces. In addition to the conversational-type interface, there is also a Cortana-like search bar where you can enter questions or queries. Here, you can find Help topics, videos, and FAQs.

WhoBot makes the stark difference between Slack vs Microsoft Teams. WhoBot is built on the top of Microsoft Graph AI framework. It is essentially a bot which can search into your company’s intranet to pull data directly from Active Directory (AD). It can answer your questions regarding specific employees, including the information about the person’s department and manager as well as the organizational chart that tells you who they report to in the company. You can even ask subject-specific matters, such as “Who knows about X?”, and WhoBot will search the AD, collaborators, and files to find people with the knowledge. Unfortunately, WhoBot is not available yet, and Microsoft does not give a specific timetable for the release.

Microsoft Office 365
Finally, when choosing between Slack vs Microsoft Teams, there is one big game-changer that may make some companies prefer Microsoft Teams, which is the seamless Microsoft Office 365 integration. You can integrate various Microsoft Office 365 apps as additional tabs. Each of these tabs will replicate the full functionality of the actual app without requiring you to minimize or close Microsoft Teams. In addition, when a team is created, a SharePoint directory is provisioned automatically behind the scenes with a folder that represents every channel.

However, Slack is available for everyone. There is a free tier, which you can use if you are not yet ready to spend some real bucks for the collaboration tool. It also means that you can use Slack for external collaborators as well.

On the other hand, as a part of Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams is mostly only for internal teams. There is no free tier, and the company has stated that they don’t plan to create a free tier whatsoever. You can’t use Microsoft Teams to integrate your external collaborators, unless you are willing to buy separate licenses for them.

SlackMicrosoft Teams
- Lots of theme options- Only three themes
- Doesn't have in-line replies- Has in-line replies
- Rich emoji and GIF integrations- GIF integrations, stickers, and meme generator
- Lots of third-party integrations- Seamless Office 365 integration
- Has a free tier- No free tier

Conclusion
Slack and Microsoft Teams have different use cases. Slack is the way to go if you prefer to have a free tier which you can use to integrate your external collaborators. Slack also makes a great choice if you prefer a simple, lightweight yet effective tool. The highly customizable skin is a very nice touch. However, if you need the collaboration tool only for internal teams, and you can benefit from the seamless Microsoft Office 365 integration, Microsoft Teams can be your choice. The in-line replies are very convenient, and the meme generator is a fun way to chat with your coworkers.

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