Skype vs Slack
Last updated: July 28, 2017
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and videoconferencing. Skype alternative for enterprise is called Skype for Business. Secure Skype alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It's real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams. Create open channels for the projects, groups and topics that the whole team shares. Slack searches whole conversations, not just individual messages, so you can find what you’re looking for no matter who said what or when they said it. Slack free open-source (self-hosted) alternatives are: Mattermost, Rocket.Chat, Zulip
Latest news about Skype and Slack:
28.07.17. Slack raised $250 million at $5 billion valuation. Enterprise messaging service Slack is raising a $250 million round at a $5 billion valuation. Slack has almost a cult following in Silicon Valley, but much of its success will be contingent on whether it is able to convince large enterprises around the world to switch services. Slack has touted itself as an alternative to email, but it’s not a platform for communicating with people outside your company. A lot of people love Slack over other alternatives for its modern interface.
18.05.17. Slack adds screen sharing. Slack now lets paid users to share live video of their screens during video calls. The feature will roll out on Slack’s latest Mac and Windows apps over the next few days. To use Slack screensharing, fire up a video call then hit the screenshare button. You can select your preferred screen if you’re using several, your webcam will deactivate, and Slack notifications won’t appear to avoid exposing any private info. Viewers will see all of your shared screen including your cursor so you can easily point things out. Slack’s native screensharing feature will compete with several integrations with third-party products it already offered, including Skype, BlueJeans, Appear.in, Google Hangouts, and Zoom.
01.02.17. Slack launched Enterprise version of its group chat. Slack has launched Enterprise Grid — a new product aimed at large enterprises. It comes with a range of features that are essentially table stakes in the enterprise software market. IT administrators are now be able to manage and provision multiple large teams; and, in addition to the encryption that Slack already offers, add in new layers of security and identity management; set new security and compliance controls; and new HIPAA & FINRA compliance and data loss prevention integration. The initial customers include Capital One, Paypal and IBM. IBM is a particularly interesting name to see here, given that it sells its own collaboration product for large enterprises, IBM Connections, and it is also working on what appears to be its own AI business intelligence product, Watson Workspace. Other would be competitors include Workplace from Facebook, Microsoft’s Teams, Jive and Spark from Cisco. Pricing for Enterprise Grid — unlike normal Slack, where pricing starts at $8 and $15 per month for two tiers.
20.01.17. Slack now allows to add comments to particular message. Workplace communications tool Slack has introduced threaded comments. With threads, users can pop out of the chaos of an ongoing chat and pin bits of conversations off to the side that they can address on a more regular basis. Users can jump in and out of their existing threads much like they do channels and direct messages, and when they want to share new comments back into a chat stream, they can do so by hitting a small checkbox at the bottom of their new message. The threads are located in the panel that pops out on the right side of your screen that has additional tools and resources for your existing rooms and direct messages. Starting a thread is as simple as clicking on a button next to a message in a room, much like you would add a reaction, and then it peels off into a new conversation within the right panel.
15.12.16. Skype adds real-time translation to all VoIP calls. Last year Skype launched built-in Translator that allows to translate speech in real-time. Until now this feature was available only in video chat, but in the new version you'll be able to call people around the world and have your conversation interpreted instantaneously - even if they're using the last remaining rotary phone. When placing a call, users just need to set their language of choice and the tool will take care of the rest. The person on the other end of the line will hear a message stating that the call is being recorded and translated through the service, which will be very clear once the conversation begins. Windows Insider Program members will be the first to have access to the new feature. To date, nine spoken languages are supported: English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.
14.12.16. Slack adds video calls. Collaboration messenger Slack is adding one more key feature - video calling. Group video calls, for those on paid tiers, can handle up to 15 people currently, Slack says. The new feature will be available first on Slack for Mac and Windows on desktop and Google Chrome in the next few days. Those on mobile will be able to join video calls but will experience them as audio only. Video calls in Slack will have an interesting add-on - emojis. A lot of people who use video and audio conferencing for calls with work colleagues will turn on the mute button so that their random coughs and sighs or other ambient noise will not interrupt the soliloquies of their coworkers. Now if they want to make quick responses to things they won’t have to fumble around for the unmute button: instead they can offer a thumbs up, or whatever is right for the moment.
12.12.16. Google and Slack team up against Microsoft and Facebook. Recently Microsoft and Facebook launched their alternatives of the popular collaboration service Slack (Teams and Workplace respectively). Of course for Slack it's a tough competition, so they found a partner in face of Google. The companies signed the strategic partner agreement and soon will tightly integrate their product. In particular, Slack will become available as an app in G Suite (formerly Google Apps), so admins will be able to turn it on/off for their users. And inside Slack you'll be able to preview documents via Google Docs editors, and sync access rights for files attached from Google Drive. Besides, Slack will get integration with the new service Google Team Drives (it's the recently launched team-focused version of Google Drive).
16.11.16. Skype now allows to make calls without registration. Last year Skype enabled to invite to chat or video call people that don't have Skype account. Now it's possible to start chat and calls without registration also. All you have to do is go to Skype.com and click "Start a Conversation." You type in your name, it creates the chat with its own unique link that you can send to friends or colleagues. They don't need to use an account either. You can invite up to 300 people in a text chat or up to 25 on voice or video calls. The conversation only lasts for 24 hours, so you won't be able to go through your post history afterwards. You also won't be able to use Skype Translator or call phone numbers with the service; those still require you to have a Skype account.
27.10.16. Slack to be powered by IBM Watson AI. IBM and Slack today announced a partnership that combines Slack’s digital workplace with he cognitive computing capabilities of Watson. The goal is to use Watson's artificial intelligence (AI) learning engine to power offerings such as bots and other conversational inferences to improve the Slack user experience. Developers can use this enhanced cognitive functionality to tap a wide range of Watson services, such as Conversation, Sentiment Analysis and speech APIs, and build new tools for the platform.
27.09.16. Slack deeply integrates with Salesforce. Enterprise chat app Slack is adding a "deep product partnership" with Salesforce - an integration that will make it much easier for businesses to share data across the two platforms, specifically around employee conversations and sales account information. The Salesforce integration will work essentially like many of those other Slack integraions - with a backslash and keyword “Salesforce” to bring data into the conversation. This partnership can also mean that Salesforce would like to acquite the collaboration service. The company had big ambitions for its own messaging app, Chatter, but it hasn't become very popular so far. Recall that according to rumors Microsoft is also interested in acquiring Slack.
11.08.16. Skype gets Bots. In the new version of the Skype for Windows 10, Microsoft added several Skype bots, the automated chat assistants that it introduced earlier this year in a limited preview. The new bots include those that can help you make travel arrangements, locate event tickets, pull in information from other applications and services and even keep you entertained. For example, the Skyscanner Bot lets you search for individual or group flights, return pricing information and route options. Then, it will provide a link where users can go to complete the booking.
06.07.16. Microsoft launched free Skype Meetings for small business. Microsoft launched Skype Meetings, a new audio and video conferencing tool specifically designed for small businesses. Unlike the fully featured Skype for Business product (that allows you to host meetings with up to 250 people and it’s deeply integrated into Outlook, Word and PowerPoint), Skype Meetings only allows PowerPoint collaboration (screen sharing, laser pointer, etc.) and screen sharing. Video calls are also limited to a maximum of 10 people during the first two months. After that, the maximum number of participants drops to three people. Participants can join Skype Meetings from virtually any device with the help of a personalized URL and the calls are powered by the same technology as Skype for Business calls. That means you will get to take advantage of Skype’s head tracking feature, for example, which ensures that a face will always be in the center of the screen, no matter where it is in the actual video image.
16.05.16. Slack launched "Sign in with Slack" feature. Slack unveiled a new feature called “Sign in with Slack”, which will let Slack users sign into and use other apps using their Slack identities. So, it will compete with Facebook and Google that share this market. “Sign in with Slack” could turn Slack into the identity provider for the enterprise. Rather than having to remember a login and password for every different workplace app, you’ll be able to just use your Slack login. The move takes advantage of the fact that everybody in a company needs chat. While other workplace apps might only be necessary for certain departments, messaging is the thread that ties a business together. The launch-partners, supporting Slack-identity include the cloud-based word processing and collaboration app Quip, Figma, Kifi, Officevibe, Smooz and Slackline.
20.04.16. Threaded messaging is coming to Slack. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield announced that threaded messaging — perhaps one of the service’s most important missing components — is finally coming in the next quarter. Slack had been using threading internally for months while testing what the best version of the tool would be for the service. Adding threaded messaging, an important component in other services like Yammer, Citrix’s Podio and Convo, would level the playing field between collaboration services — and give Slack an opportunity to gobble up a much wider part of the field. Slack, as-is, is more like a tool for quickly building work-centric chat rooms with direct messaging integrated into it. Threaded comments would bring the service to another level, helping it become a more important part of the workflow and upending existing services.
19.04.16. Skype voice and video calls now work plugin-free in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft is making Skype in the browser plugin-free, but for now - only in Microsoft Edge. Other browsers, including IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari, will continue to require plugins as before. This includes Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive, all of which, along with Skype for Web, will now support real-time, plugin-free voice, video and group calling when you’re using Microsoft Edge. The company has been more recently working on ways to allow anyone to join a Skype chat, even if they don’t have an account. Skype for Web was one easy way to connect these invitees to your chat session, but installing browser plugins could slow down that experience. Now when those users are on Edge, they can just click a link and start chatting.
16.03.16. Skype for Web now supports calling to mobile phones, landlines. Browser-based Skype for Web is getting a slew of new features that brings it more in line with its desktop and mobile counterparts – most notably the added ability to dial mobile phones and landlines. To make calls to mobile phones or landlines from the browser, you’ll need a subscription or Skype credit, as on other platforms. Then, once signed in, you can click on the phone call tab, pick a destination, and dial. Besides, the web version also now allows you to bring non-Skype users into a conversation easily, introduces notifications, and lets you watch YouTube videos in Skype for Web itself.
20.01.16. Skype integrated with Slack. The new Slack integration allows team members using Slack’s real-time communication software a way to quickly start Skype voice or video call from within the Slack application. Once installed, kicking off a Skype call is as simple as just typing in “/skype” into the Slack chat interface, which will then display a join link. On the desktop, you’ll only need a web browser plugin, while on mobile, you’ll need to download the Skype mobile application onto your smartphone. Slack team members can also join as guests on a computer, or they can sign in using their Skype name or Microsoft account information.
15.01.16. Skype adds free group video calls to mobile apps. Skype announced the launch of free group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 mobile devices. The feature has been available for a couple of years on the desktop, for both Mac and PC, but had yet to make its way to mobile. Once it's live, the update will allow Skype users to make video calls with as many as 25 participants for free. While Skype has supported group video calls for some time, the feature was previously available only to those who subscribed to Skype for Business (though the free apps have supported group audio calls.)
17.12.15. Slack launched App Directory and will be funding developers. Enterprise collaboration service Slack wants developers to build Slack apps beyond the 150 like Dropbox and Twilio that it’s now showing off in its new App Directory. Moreover Slack announced it’s teamed up with its investors, who happen to be the Bay Area A-list of VCs — Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social+Capital. Together they’ve thrown in $80 million for a Slack-first fund. It will back enterprise software developers making Slack integrations part of their core product. Slack and its VCs want these developers to make Slack more useful and convenient with apps for doing all sorts of things in the workplace. The $80 million basically guarantees there will continue to be a healthy Slack platform. Competitors who copy its core messaging features can’t copy the developer ecosystem. That could give Slack an edge on HipChat and other competitors.
03.11.15. Enterprise messaging service Slack introduced User Groups. Slack is looking to enhance the experience of how larger organizations function through the introduction of User Groups. The new feature allows notifications to be specifically sent to separate departments. Whether it’s getting the message out to a company’s engineers, customer service teams or marketing teams, user groups allows entire groups to be alerted about issues in a moments notice. Initiatives like this fit into Slack’s larger focus of allowing the platform to operate more effectively for larger organizations. In turn, this feature will only be enabled for Slack teams on paid plans.