Slack vs. Rocket.Chat (2021)

Slack vs Rocket.Chat
Slack vs. Rocket.Chat

In the current scenario where work-from-home has become a necessity, several chatting platforms have surfaced in the professional world. These platforms are largely enabling working individuals and employers to connect seamlessly.

Rocket.Chat and Slack are renowned for their unique features that offer a one-stop solution to the companies for all their communicational needs. Before you take a leap and choose one of them, let’s look at the comparison of Slack vs. Rocket.Chat in terms of pricing, features, customer service, supported platforms, and so on.

Quick comparison: Slack vs. Rocket.Chat

FeatureRocket.ChatSlack
TypeCommunicationCommunication
PlatformsDesktop and mobileDesktop and mobile
IntegrationsYes (via Hubot and scripts)Over 2400
Starting price$2/user/month$8/month/user
Free planYesYes
WebsiteRocket.ChatSlack
Quick comparison

Platforms

Slack is available on almost all platforms such as Chrome, iOS, Android, macOS and Windows.

On the other hand, Rocket.Chat is supported by web, iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux. In addition to screen sharing and service integrations provided by both Slack and Rocket.Chat, the latter offers analytics integration as well.

Usage

This is where both are different in many ways. Slack is a platform, and you can sign up and invite users. Pretty simple, right! Rocket.Chat is not like that. Rocket.Chat requires a server that you deploy for it to work. Once the server is created, you add the server URL to Rocket.Chat for it to work fully.

Without the server, the app can be installed, but you will only see the public channels. There are 11 ways to install Rocket.Chat, and their FAQ page gives an idea of this tool.

In a test, Slack used 540 megabytes of your data in one hour of one-to-one video conferencing. But as teams use this platform, a one-hour meeting of five members can consume 1.2 gigabytes of data.

There is no tested data for Rocket.Chat, but the app is likely to consume more data because of enhanced features like the quality of video calling, screen sharing, and so on.

Features

Slack

Slack Interface
Slack Interface

Some of the key features of Slack are given below.

  • Pin Messages: It enables you to pin up to 100 essential messages, files, or documents so that you can easily find them whenever you need them. This helps to create collective visibility of priority tasks.
  • Advanced search modifiers: Slack has advanced search modifiers that help you get anything you need by merely searching for the word or quote just like you make a Google search. If you are unsure of the search term, you can put an asterisk (*) to search for everything with any instances of that term.
  • Shared channels: It uses shared channels across different workspaces to ensure the establishment of a smooth communication channel between two organisations to achieve their common goals.
  • Easy navigation: You can zip through channels without having to move your mouse. Just some simple commands from the keyboard and the first two letters of the desired channel are navigated between the channels.
  • @mention: You can mention people to send them notifications.
  • RSS feeds: RSS feeds by Slack allow you to keep up with your favourite blogs, news platforms, and aggregators. To subscribe to RSS feeds, you can type “_/feed subscribe [feed address]”.

Related: Google Workspace vs. Slack

Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat Desktop App
Rocket.Chat Desktop App

Here are some of the salient features of Rocket.Chat:

  • Off-the-record feature: This is a unique feature for chats that is absent in Slack. In addition to this, Rocket.Chat has direct channels, private channels, and direct messaging as there are workplaces in Slack.
  • Two-factor authentication: Rocket.Chat ensures that all your data is safe using its two-factor authentication feature, end-to-end data encryption, and single sign ON.
  • Translations: It offers real-time translations of chats in over 37 languages around the world.
  • Custom features: It allows enterprises to add custom features, integrations, and plug-ins for all their business needs.
  • @mention: Like Slack, It has the @mentions option to tag the concerned users or channels and send automated updates.
  • Personalised user experience: It has contact management, real-time editing, version control, and content management features for a more personalised user experience.

Related: Google Keep vs. Trello

Integrations

Slack allows you to integrate many other applications which may act as bots for external services such as Jira and Bitbucket. In total, the app offers over 2400 integrations. On the paid plans, almost all can be installed. The free plan supports ten apps.

This feature is not yet available in Rocket.Chat—the only way to install integrations in Rocket.Chat is to install a Hubot bot and then feed hubot scripts from external integrations. The whole process is time-consuming when compared to Slack. Also, the free plan does not support integrations.

Plans and pricing

Slack vs Rocket.Chat Pricing
Slack vs Rocket.Chat Pricing

Slack

The next section in Slack vs. Rocket.Chat comparison is pricing. Slack offers three types of plans:

Pro: Offers chat history, group voice and video calls, and no limit on integrations. It costs $8/user/month on the month-to-month plan and $6.67/user/month on the annual plan.

Business+: Offers 99.99% uptime guarantee and advanced sign in and identity management options. The plan is billed at the rates of $12.50/user/month when billed annually and $15.00/user/month.

Enterprise Grid: Offers enterprise security, centralised controls, tailored support, and customisable policies. The plan is for bigger companies, and to subscribe, a company must contact sales.

Related: Slite vs. Notion (2021)

Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat offers two types of plans, namely Cloud and Self-managed, further divided into three and two types, respectively.

The cloud (SaaS) plan includes bronze, silver, and gold plans. The bronze plan is billed at $2 per user per month or $20 per year. The silver plan is billed at $4 per user per month or $40 per user per year.

The self-managed plan has pro versions and enterprise versions. The pro version is billed at $3 per user per month or $30 per user annually. The gold and enterprise plans offer volume discounts.

Customer support

Both Slack and Rocket.Chat offer customer support in the form of email/helpdesk, knowledge base, and chat.

Rocket.Chat provides phone support to give you instantaneous solutions which are not provided by Slack. But Slack has a detailed FAQs section so that you don’t have to wait for a long time on a phone call to get your common problems solved.

Rocket.Chat’s customer service extends 24×7 online help to solve the issues of their users readily.

Which one is for you?

It can be said that Rocket.Chat is a better alternative as compared to Slack. It is an open-source platform for team collaborations, helping companies to customize their choices, install integrations, and ensure the security of the information. It offers cheaper plans starting from $2 per user per month, whereas the billed plans of Slack start from $8 per user per month.

If you or the company has employees with technical knowledge, you can save hundreds on Rocket.Chat. Installing the program is straightforward, but it becomes complicated in deploying servers and installing external scripts.

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The verdict

In the tech world, functionality means money. Slack is easy to use with integration support, and anyone with minimum knowledge can sign up and start using it. Rocket.Chat is a little bit challenging at the start, but it’s cost-effective in the long term.

Here we end this Slack vs. Rocket.Chat article. I hope you learned a thing or two about both tools. Feel free to share this with your friends and colleagues and help them understand the difference. You can also contribute to this blog post by commenting down below.

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