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Grow Your Business Technology

Slack vs. Skype: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Slack vs. Skype: Which Is Better for Your Business?
Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Is Slack better than Skype? For many businesses considering communication tools, Slack and Skype are among the top services being considered. As they are two of the most popular messaging and audio/video calling solutions, it can be hard to choose between the two platforms. To help you find the right communication solution for your business, here's a breakdown of how Slack compares with Skype for small businesses. 

If you'd like to see our recommendations for the best video conference services, visit our best picks page. You can also check out our full review of Skype for Business.

Slack – The basic version of Slack is free, but it's limited to two-person voice and video calls and only 10 app integrations. Paid versions start at $6.67 per active user per month and come with group voice and video calls, unlimited searches, unlimited integrations, priority support, and better security. Slack also offers a plan that costs $12.50 per user per month and comes with more advanced IT features, such as single sign-on, a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee and 24/7 support. 

Skype – Skype has a slightly simpler pricing structure than Slack. Online meetings are free for up to 10 people. For more participants, Skype is available as a stand-alone service for $2 per user per month, or as part of Microsoft's Office 365 suite of productivity tools starting at $5 per user per month. [See Related Story: Collaboration Tools for Small Business]

Slack – Slack offers one-on-one and group messaging via direct messages. Users can also hold individual and group audio and video calls.

Skype – Like Slack, Skype offers instant messaging and one-on-one and group audio and video calls. Users can hold meetings for up to 250 participants. 

Collaboration tools

Slack – Slack makes it easy to collaborate via Channels. Users create Channels, using hashtags, to organize projects, teams and other topics to keep everyone in the loop. Slack also lets users easily share all types of files simply by dragging and dropping them into the app, or by syncing the service with file-sharing services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Slack conversations and shared files are also fully archived, so users can quickly search for what they need at any time.

Skype – Skype offers true collaboration during audio and video calls. This includes screen sharing, the ability to record meetings, real-time PowerPoint presentations, whiteboards and group polling. These features are only available on Slack with third-party app integrations.

Slack – Slack shines when it comes to integrating apps that businesses use. This means users get all their notifications and can get most of their work done within the Slack platform without switching between apps. Integrations include Salesforce, Dropbox, Twitter and GitHub, as well as other communication tools like Zoom, BlueJeans and Google Hangouts. Additionally, Slack is fully integrated with Google Drive, which allows users to share and view Google Doc, Sheet or Slide files during calls and within conversations. 

Skype – One of Skype's highlights is that it is fully integrated with Microsoft Office. This includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook (users can also schedule meetings right from Outlook). However, Skype does not integrate other apps and tools outside of Microsoft Office.

Businesses looking for a robust and flexible communication solution will enjoy Slack's comprehensive set of messaging and audio/video calling tools and integrations. Its fully searchable archive and Channel features will also come in handy for businesses that have many ongoing projects simultaneously or for longer periods. Furthermore, Slack continues to be updated with future developments to make the service even better for small businesses.

On the other hand, businesses that need a more basic, no-fuss communication app will like Skype's simplicity. Its full integration with Microsoft Office and real-time, in-meeting collaboration tools are also a big plus. Keep in mind that Skype may not have significant updates in the foreseeable future, as Microsoft is focusing more on its recently launched communication tool, Microsoft Teams. [See Related Story: Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Which Is Right for Your Business?]

Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.