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Slack Free vs Paid: Should You Consider Upgrading?

Do you want to make your work communication much easier? Then here comes a messaging app called Slack which lots of businesses seem to be using. It is good to know that slack is basically a messaging app on steroids. Now, we’re trying to determining which is best for you between the Slack free vs paid options.

Slack is meant for workgroups and team members which can be used across different devices and platforms. It is equipped with robust features which give users the ability to chat one-on-one with their associates, groups, and colleagues.

Users are able to upload and share their files with team members, as well as have the ability to integrate with other apps and services. One good thing about slack is that it gives you the ability to granularly control almost every setting, which includes the ability to create custom emojis.

READ MORE: Slack vs Microsoft Teams: Which is Right For Your Team?

How Exactly Does Slack Work?

As said before, Slack happens to be an all-purpose platform for communication and collaboration. It helps in the transformation of the way businesses communicate by bringing together people to work as a team.

slack free vs paid

Slack comes with instant messaging, a suite of tools, and voice/video calls, which help team members to share info and work together. This platform comes with a standalone app for Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android. Here’s how slack works.

The Sidebar

With the slack sidebar, users can access all conversations. A user can see a list of channels joined, notifications for particular conversations, direct messages, and other options to compose new messages. 

The Channels

These are fundamental to working in Slack. Channels help bring the right info and people together in one place, and the possibility of organizing work around a common purpose.

The Message Field

While you work in slack, there are lots of messaging you’ll find in the messaging field which helps you to connect and communicate with team members.

The Navigation bar

You can make use of the navigation icons to go back and forth via your history. Also, you can view recent conversations, search for information, and get help with Slack. 

READ MORE: How to Add a User to Google Analytics

Slack Free vs Paid: The Major Differences

Once you sign up with Slack, you’ll have multiple options to choose from. However, the application is free, except you want a Slack Workspace that has an unlimited number of people.

Note that in the free slack pricing plans, users don’t have to pay for it, but the only thing is that you’ll be restricted with limited features. Adding up your team to slack for a free plan sounds cool. However, the freemium plan has limitations:

slack vs microsoft teams

Whenever you join Slack, you have a choice of three tiers:

  • Free plan: Here you pay $0 per month but you’ll be restricted to just 10,000 of the most recent messages of your team and less custom integrations.
  • Standard plan: Here you’ll make payment of $8 monthly, and also, the message searches and integrations are unlimited.
  • The Plus plan: Here you’ll make payment of $15 monthly and you’ll get unlimited searches and custom integrations, as well as an enterprise-level services like guaranteed uptime and compliance reporting.

In summary, there’s value metrics and monetization for all levels of your business growth:

  • Free plan: As a small team, nothing prevents you from starting with Slack. With the free plan, team members has access to every product and integrations. This means your team will immediately start seeing value.
  • Standard plan: This will help you to increase retention once you’re over that threshold, you’ll have access to the unlimited Slack product. 
  • The plus plan: Here’s a plan that helps you to increase expansion, and once your business reaches a large size, then you don’t have to leave Slack for an enterprise-specific product. You can still use it, just like Slack does, having lots of employees and achieve more.

Is The Slack Free Version Good Enough?

Yes of course! Slack gives users a free version to allow them to gain value from the platform so that they can be converted to the paid version later. This means that you don’t have to pay any money to get started and have your team in the workspace.

Note that this is not a trial version, it is a free account that gives you the option to create as many Slack channels as you want and use them forever.

So How Far Can You Go With the Free Slack Plan?

As said before, the free version allows you to taste their platform so that you can be converted to the paid version later. This means that you don’t have to pay any money to get started and have your team in the workspace. 

Once you use the free Slack plan, you’ll end up having just a 10,000 message search limit, and a limited storage and app integration. However, you can still communicate with your teammates if you can work within these limits. 

These are what you’ll get in the free plan:

  • Just 10,000 Searchable Messages Limit

Remember that this 10,000 message limit is suitable for people that don’t use team chats always. Sometimes this can prove to be insufficient for little-sized teams. However, it can disrupt your team operations, since colleagues won’t be able to go back to vital info once your account reaches the 10K limit.

  • Limit in File Storage 

Your free account also has to deal with the limitation of 5GB storage available on your workspace. The 5GB storage limit happens to be one of the more frustrating features of the free plan.

Once your team continues to upload files after this limit is reached. Then slack will begin to archive the oldest uploaded files to create room for new ones. Once this happens, your team won’t be able to view the archived file in your channels, direct messages, or search results.

But once you upgrade your account to a paid subscription, all the archived files will become visible again.

  • 1-on-1 Video Calls

There’s the inability to conduct team conferences when you’re on the free plan. This is because you’re not allowed to add more than one participant when you want to hold a video call.

This simply means that you won’t be able to hold big meetings or webinars, and this can be a big deal to your business.

  • Only 10 App Integrations Allowed

Remember that the whole point of integration is for Slack to be better and more powerful than its competitors. The ability to use the tool to facilitate your daily tasks by making them easier is an advantage.

Since slack regularly adds new tools and paid plans, it’s a better reason you should integrate the tool with other known tools to help in enhancing your productivity.

The free plan gives you access to just 10 integrations. This means that if you want to integrate another app, then you’ll either have to delete any one of the old integration and stay within the limitation of the 10 apps.

READ MORE: How to Set Up Google My Business for Your Small Business

So Should You Upgrade From Slack Free vs Paid?

You don’t have to, as long as you‘re okay using the limited searchable messages and 10 app integrations. This is the reason the free version is better suited for smaller teams or individuals.

Pricing Information For The Paid Plan

For the paid plan, there are three subscriptions available for you: 

  • Standard
  • Plus
  • Enterprise Grid.

We have to look at what each one of them has to offer.

  • The Standard Plan

This Standard plan is said to be suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, which is available for $6.67 monthly.

  • The Plus Plan

This Plus plan is suitable for larger businesses and for people who require additional administration tools. This plan starts from $12.50 monthly.

  • The Enterprise Grid

For those extra-large businesses or regulated industries out there, my advice is for them to sign up for the Enterprise Grid plan. However, you need to contact the sales team to receive a customized quote.

So What Will You Get With Paid Plans?

Let’s look at the features each paid plan has to offer.

Standard Plan

For the standard plan, you’ll get the following features:

  • Full Archive

With this plan, you’ll be able to view your entire message history in one place. This means that the whole conversation will be searchable for every team member in your workplace.

  • Unlimited Apps

This plan allows you to integrate app more than the 10 app limitations. Since Slack regularly integrates thousands of tools from different categories will ensure that you don’t miss out on any tool to help boost your productivity.

  • Guest Access

This plan makes it even easier for small businesses to connect with their vendors, retailers, and people that are not part of the company. The admins have the ability to extend guest access as they can send out invitations to one or more Slack channels.

Here’re other Features:

  • Priority support
  • Custom retention policies
  • Group voice and video calls
  • Forward emails into Slack
  • User groups
  • Custom profiles Screen sharing

The Plus Plan

For the plus plan, you’ll get the following features:

  • You’ll get 99.99% uptime with 24/7 Support

The plus users won’t worry about their operational on slack despite their time zones.

There’s an assured 99.99% uptime, and this is seen as an industry-leading standard of availability. The plus plan users also get priority support, and what this means is that their queries are resolved faster than the free plan users.

  • SSO and Provisioning

The plus plan users have the ability to integrate slack workspace with their existing identity provider, and this is suitable for businesses that want to ensure secure access to their team. The plus plan users also have a built-in connection to many SSO providers, and also the option of using a custom or own SAML solution.

  • Data Exports

Businesses that have legal obligations to archive messages can really benefit from this data export feature in this plan. There’s the possibility for team admins to request access to the overall team’s message history. Whether it’s a direct message between members of the team or a conversation done in the private channels.

Here’re other Features

  • Has two-factor authentication settings
  • Has screen sharing ability
  • Has user provisioning and de-provisioning
  • Ability to do group video calls up to 15 people
  • Has real-time active directory sync with Okta, OneLogin, and Ping Identity

The Enterprise Grid

For the enterprise grid plan, you’ll get the following features:

  • Unlimited Workspaces

Larger businesses can’t do so much having a single Slack workspace. This means that they need a system that’ll provide their multiple teams a focused and separate place to work, and this is what Enterprise Grid offers.

The enterprise grid plan gives users access to their team, other necessary info, and application which helps them with the productivity of their projects.

  • Bridges Team Gaps

With the enterprise grid plan, businesses can now benefit and have centralized control to build a customized communication environment that mirrors the way your company works.

  • Greater Security

With an enterprise grid plan, the admin head of your workgroup has the ability to manage security, policy, structure, and compliance for the entire company directly from a single view.

Here’re other features

  • There’s 1 TB storage per member
  • Ability to work securely with other businesses using Slack Connect
  • It comes with security, billing, compliance, and platform integration management in a single view
  • It comes with enterprise mobility management (EMM) integration
  • Has audit log API
  • It comes with dedicated account 
  • It has an organization-wide search, announcement-focused channels, and messaging.

Slack Free vs Paid: What’s the Verdict?

As said before, on the Slack free vs paid talk, it comes down to business requirements at a particular point. Slack is meant for workgroups and team members which can be used across different devices and platforms. It is equipped with robust features which give users the ability to chat one-on-one with their associates and groups

However, slack comes with a very clever pricing model which gives users plenty of lessons. This platform starts with the acquiring of customers by giving them a free plan and when the free user realize some limitation on their account, they opt for an upgrade.

However, note that the plan you choose should depend on your business requirement. This means that if you have a smaller team with little budget, then the Slack free plan vs paid should be best for you. 

But in case you don’t like the 10K message search limit and the 5GB storage limit, then you can always upgrade to either Standard, Plus, or even Enterprise Grid.

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