Finding the right communication tools for groups, teams, and companies is essential as remote work and distant collaboration becomes more common. For team chats, the biggest competitors are Slack vs Discord. But which is better for your needs? Let’s compare them in detail and find out!
Slack vs Discord: Intended markets
Like most other services, both Slack and Discord can be used for many purposes, but they are made with specific markets in mind.
Slack’s target audience is in the business sector, and its feature set makes that obvious by offering improved text communications, better thread control, higher file sharing capacities, and more. Not to mention the price, as the bill can get hefty with Slack, especially with larger teams.
Meanwhile, Discord is made for gaming. This is why it has a bigger focus on voice communications, video chatting, push-to-talk, and more. The free plan is much less limited than Slack’s, which makes sense considering the software isn’t targeting profitable businesses and companies.
Free feature comparison
Slack’s business model is made to be more limiting to those using a free account. While you can live with Slack’s free account limitations, you will find a Discord basic account is far less restricting.
Discord's free plan is far less restricting than Slack's.
For starters, the Discord free plan allows for video conferences with up to eight participants. Other free Discord features include screen sharing, unlimited storage, voice-only channels, and push-to-talk conversations. The only serious downside to the free Discord plan is that you are limited to 8MB uploads, but many can live with that, or use other services for transferring larger files.
Slack’s free plan only allows one-on-one video calls, no screen sharing, and limits your message history to the most recent 10,000 messages. And while Slack offers a great 1GB file upload limit, you can’t go crazy with it. The free plan caps your storage at 5GB, so your files will need to go away for new ones to be added. One great thing Slack offers is message threads, which makes organizing conversations much easier.
Premium feature comparison
Slack’s true power will start showing once you start paying. Slack’s premium features include unlimited message history, unlimited integration with other apps, up to 1TB of storage (cheapest plan offers 10GB), collaboration with other organizations or people, and 24/7 support. In addition, screen sharing is enabled and video call limits are raised to 15 participants.
Discord offers two paid plans: Nitro Classic and Nitro. Nitro Classic unlocks features like the ability to upload GIF avatars, change your tag, and use custom emotes. Screen sharing video quality is increased to 720@60fps or 1080@30fps. In addition, your file upload size limit will be increased to 50MB.
Those who get the Nitro plan can upload files up to 100MB in size, enjoy improved video quality, and the ability to boost servers (chat rooms) so more people will get access to them.
As you can see, Discord’s paid features are much less essential than Slack’s. The only real improvements are in file size upload limits and screen sharing quality. Both of which many casual users can live without.
Slack vs Discord: Pricing
Differences start getting real once you get your wallet involved. Even if you decide to go with one of Discord’s paid plans, Nitro Classic costs only $4.99 a month and Nitro goes for $9.99 a month.
Slack’s cheapest paid plan costs $8 a month per user. You can make that price a little cheaper ($6.67 per month) when paying for a user’s full year, but that’s still a good amount of cash. Especially when you have to pay for, say 100 people. Then the Standard paid plan might not be enough for your needs, which means paying even more.
Slack vs Discord: Which best suits your needs?
Discord’s free features are not as limiting when considering everything the service has to offer. The most technical reasons for paying are HD screen sharing video quality and higher file upload limits. Otherwise, Discord’s free service is nearly as good as its premium offerings.
Looking at the overall pros, Discord has unlimited message history and storage limit for free. Not to mention voice channels and push-to-talk, which could be great for more vocal teams. But going with Discord will mean limiting yourself to only 9 service integrations (for social media, games, and other services), video calls with eight participants, 8MB uploads (100MB at most, when paying), and having no conversation threads.
Slack is better if you are willing to pay, but Discord is the better free option.
These are downsides you can can fix by paying the most affordable Slack paid plan. Slack can ensure 1GB uploads, threads, up to 15-participant video calls, unlimited integrations, and screen sharing. The only real issue is you still have to deal file storage caps. Paying for more storage is an option, but it will never be unlimited.
All things considered, Slack is the better of the two if you are willing to pay for the added functionality. Discord can offer basic functionality for free. The real deciding factor is whether your team can live with Discord or not. If Discord’s features are not enough, then you must cash out with Slack.
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