Collaborative chat apps have really taken off in business over the last few year. Slack plays no small part in this, marketing itself as a much more productive replacement for email for internal comms. The company is looking to go public in 2019, and hopes to get a valuation north of $10 billion.
But a recent survey by Spiceworks could spell trouble for Slack. They found that Microsoft Teams leapfrogged Slack and Google Hangouts to be the number two chat app in business, with 21% of respondents using it. Somehow the act of pure hate that is Skype for Business grew its lead in the number one spot with 44%.
Slack’s share of users still grew, mostly thanks to a precipitous decline in Google Hangouts, up 2% since 2016 with 15% of organizations using it. But Slack seems to be tied to small business uses. For large businesses, it trails all surveyed platforms outside of the floundering Workplace by Facebook (remember that?).
Slack doesn’t suffer from an image problem. Respondents see it as an innovative platform. But Teams was seen as the most secure, and has the considerable benefit of being bundled with Office365. For all the credit Microsoft has received for changing as a company in recent years, this is a decidedly old school Redmond way of dominating an innovative competitor.
Which is not to say that Teams is an ersatz chat app. I’ve seen more than a few people fed up with the peculiarities of Slack, and have been more than happy switching to Teams.