Updated: March 20, 2019
2018. Google Hangouts Chat gets emoji reactions
Hangouts Chat, Google’s business-focused Slack competitor, is getting emoji reactions. That’s a feature that Slack has long had, so if anything, today’s move makes Hangouts Chat even more Slack-like than before. The new feature works just like you’d expect and just like in Slack; this update allows you to now quickly add a thumbs-up emoji to all those comments in Hangouts Slack Chat that you couldn’t care less about but where internal politics dictate that you should say something. You could also use them for a quick internal poll or to acknowledge a request where typing “yes” would’ve felt like too much work.
2018. Google's Slack competitor Hangouts Chat is now generally available
After months of testing, Google is opening its business messaging platform, Hangouts Chat, to everyone. The Slack-like service for team communication is now open to all of the company's business customers who use its G Suite services. Google is a relatively late entrant to the business-messaging software game. At this point, Slack and Microsoft, with its Teams app, both have significant head-starts. But there are a few areas where Google is hoping to differentiate itself from the competition. By being directly integrated into all the Google services businesses are already using, like Drive and and Google Calendar, Hangouts Chat can streamline tasks like file sharing and scheduling meetings. For example, Google's meeting-scheduling bot will be able to automatically schedule team meetings based on each person's calendar.
2018. Stride opens its API
2017. Microsoft Teams adds guest access
Microsoft announced a number of feature updates to the service Teams. Starting today, you can add anyone with an Azure Active Directory account as a guest to a team. That still means there’s a bit of a barrier to entry here for guest access and Microsoft plans to lower than barrier in the near future by also allowing Teams users to add anybody with a basic Microsoft Account to Teams. Microsoft also announced that 125,000 organizations in 181 markets now use Teams, its Slack competitor for Office 365 subscribers.
2017. Atlassian launched Stride - its new Slack competitor
Atlassian, that has long offered a team communications service HipChat, now launched more Slack-like service called Stride. It includes both a smart text-based messaging service and a fully featured video and audio conferencing service that enables frictionless meetings without the need to install any plug-ins. Stride's free version supports an unlimited amount of users, group audio and video, as well as support for bots and third-party integrations. The main limit here is that the free version only stores the last 25,000 messages and you only get 5GB of file storage. For $3 per user/month, those limits completely disappear and you also get support for guest access, screen sharing and advanced user management.
2016. Microsoft introduced Teams - the main Slack competitor
In the beginning of the year Microsoft wanted to acquire super-popular group chat software Slack, but then decided to build the same own service from the scratch. And here it is - Microsoft Teams, and it looks very similar to Slack. You can create rooms for projects or departments, communicate from desktop or mobile devices and share files and other content. Like Slack, it features bots for notification and auto-replies. The main advantages of Teams (according to Microsoft) are its security and tight integration with other Microsoft applications, like Skype, Word, SharePoint, Planner and OneNote. Teams will be available for free in business subscription plans of Office 365. So Microsoft hopes that it will become the last straw for those companies that still don't use Office 365. Teams is now in preview mode and will be generally available in early 2017.
2015. Jive launches Slack competitor - Chime
Jive Software launched Chime - a real-time messaging app that could well be a buzz across Slack’s bow — and an attempt to modernize an aging platform. The idea behind Chime is to focus on one communication task, rather than the whole kit and kaboodle as the previous Jive mobile app has done. The Jive platform has had communication capabilities for many years, in the form of microblogging and activity streams, and these have been accessible on mobile devices through the Jive mobile app that runs on Android and iOS. Now it competes with companies like Yammer, Socialcast, Salesforce Chatter, Asana and other tools designed to facilitate new ways of communicating inside the enterprise.