Google Hangouts Chat vs Slack

17 January, 2019

Google Hangouts Chat vs Slack

There are a plethora of communication tools available in the market from Hangouts Chat, Slack, Rocket.Chat, Fleep, Bitrix24 and more. So many choices can only mean one thing... Confusion!

Let's narrow it down - Hangouts Chat and Slack are at the top of the game. So, we conducted various tests to compare the different features and functionalities of both the products. We used both the application for our everyday work and crafted a classic pros and cons list for both. So you can easily identify which one to use according to your business needs.

Google Hangouts Chat

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Launched on 28th of February 2018, Hangouts Chat is less than a year old and is still generating a lot of buzz amongst corporations. Although it sounds similar, Hangouts Chat is not to be confused with Google Hangouts. It is a messaging platform built for teams and is a part of G Suite products. It is an enterprise-grade solution that makes team communication and collaboration, fun, quick and easy.

Pros

  • Single sign-in with G Suite

You don't need to create a different account for Hangouts Chat. Simply log in to your G Suite account and you're set to start using the Hangouts Chat messaging service as well. All your G Suite domain users can directly use Hangouts Chat. Yup! It's that simple!

  • Available at no extra cost

Hangouts chat comes out of the box with G Suite. So, unlike Slack, you do not need to worry about paying extra for a communication tool and benefit from the enterprise level features.

  • Simplistic Design and User Experience

Google Apps are known for their minimalistic and professional UI. Hangouts Chat opts the same phenomenon and offers a clean UI and a very streamlined user-experience that we all love and expect from Google.

  • Integration with G Suite Products

Just like most of the G Suite apps, Hangouts Chat is seamlessly integrated with all G Suite products. You can use the Meet bot to integrate your calendar, Hangouts Meet to start a video conversation without any interruption and share large files from your drive with Google Drive.

Additionally, you can even manage the user access for any file you share right from Hangouts Chat dashboard.

  • Google Search Bar

Looking for something your colleague sent a week back on the Hangouts Chat? Simply search for it in the Google Search Bar. The classic Google search bar allows you to swiftly search any conversation and files instead of wasting time manually scrolling.

  • Price

If you're already using G Suite, then you don't have to pay any additional price for Hangouts Chats. That means switching to Hangouts Chat may be a smart move.

If you're not using G Suite then check out the G Suite plans here.

Cons

  • User Access in Mobile app

Available on Apple Store and Google Play, Hangouts Chat mobile app has a similar interface on both. The problem is, you can only sign in as one domain user at a time. So if you are a part of different organizations, you won't be able to access all of them at the same time. Slack gives this flexibility.

  • Outside organization users are not allowed

You can not add any user outside of your organization to your Hangouts Chat. Yes! You heard it right. It is only available for that particular domain users.

  • No custom emojis

This is more like of an inconvenience than an actual disadvantage- Hangouts Chat doesn't offer custom emoji reactions. Even though we miss it sometimes, Google has somewhat made up for it with pictograms. Not the same but still is something.

  • No self-chatting Bots

Many team-chatting applications like Slack offer the self-chat service bot which allows users to utilize it for activities such as saving a short note, test a link or a file prior to sending it to other members. However, Google's multi-chat application doesn't offer this coveted feature in the application.

Slack

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Founded in 2013, Slack is a widely used real-time messaging application with almost 8 million daily active users. Similar to Hangouts Chat, it also offers instant messaging, document sharing and knowledge search for modern teams.

Pros

  • Beautifully Designed Application

The developers of Slack have paid great attention to the colourful and vibrant User Interface and to give a great experience to their users. This shows in the big and small things of their design- from the bright colours to the cute copies that they have put up at every interaction.

  • Third-party Integration

Slack offers an impressive number of third-party integration with developer tools like Github to management tools like Trello. Check out their growing list in their app directory.

  • Custom emojis

Not exactly an award-winning feature but the custom emoji feature melted our hearts. It's not only fun but also a great way to enrich the team culture and build a sense of community.

  • Mobile app

The Slack mobile app has all the features of the desktop app and the browser application. It can send and receive messages in real time and features push notifications as well.

Slack is available on iOS and Google Play as well

  • Self-chatting BOT

Although seems pretty insignificant, the self-chat bot is a pretty nifty feature offered by Slack. Users can save links to articles that they want to read later, preview links before sending it in the groups, save drafts notes and more.

  • Syntax highlighting

An attractive feature for all the coders out there, Slack allows you to put your code in a snippet and format it to your desired language. Slack automatically runs the code making it super easy for your teammates to view the end result.

  • Open Channels

Slack offers an awesome feature where anybody can join in an open channel conversation thread. This channel is visible by everyone, anyone can join in and it can be about any and every topic out there.

Cons

  • Price

One of the biggest drawbacks of Slack is the exorbitant pricing plans of the application which can go as high a $6.67 per user in the standard plan. This can especially be a deep hole in the pocket if you are a growing organization.

  • The free plan is limited

There, of course, is the free version of the app that can make do for the time being if your team is small. However, the free plan only allows 10 third-party integrations and after a certain point (10k messages) the app will start deleting your previous conversations.

The moment of truth, which application is better for your organisation?

As per the pros and the cons, we can see that both Slack and Hangouts Chat are equally great as enterprise messaging applications.

Slack has more engaging features like a self-chat bot, custom emojis and a vibrant UI but comes at a higher cost.

On the other hand, G Suite offers more simplistic and clean UI It has everything that growing business needs from a messaging app and is completely integrated with G Suite products!

Like us, if you are already a G Suite user then Hangout Chats is a more favourable option as it is offered along with the G Suite services with no additional cost.

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