Slack versus WhatsApp and Email

WhatsApp is pretty much the preferred method of communication in my social circle. In fact, if someone calls me I get annoyed because they can just send me a message on WhatsApp and I don’t have to entertain a long conversation just to get to the point (don’t act like you don’t feel this way too). The APP is useful for staying connected with people, and we all have those groups where we send each other funny memes and dirty jokes. WhatsApp isn’t going away anytime soon, and it’s quite often used by teams within an organisation. There’s nothing wrong with this, but personally, when it comes to working seamlessly, WhatsApp isn’t my first choice. I personally prefer to use Slack.

Slack is a communication platform that is gaining momentum, especially in creative organisations. It allows you to communicate with different groups, share files, add extensions and much more. There are many reasons that I would choose this over Whatsapp, here are a few of them.

Cross-compatibility with other devices

Some people prefer to use their mobiles, some tablet, others desktop. Slack is compatible on all major devices, meaning you have the option of communicating on whatever suits you best. You also have the choice of downloading the APP, as well as using it in your browser. Overall it’s a very versatile thing to have.

It’s less intrusive

I hate being added to random WhatsApp groups without consent. WhatsApp relies on phone numbers, so anybody that has you on their contact list is free to add you to a group. You then have to deal with the constant messages, and awkwardly wait until the early hours of the morning to discretely remove yourself.

Slack is used for work, so I find it useful that I can separate it from my personal life. When I get a message on my phone I know it’s about something important and I’m less likely to ignore it.

Sharing files

Maybe it’s just a personal thing, but I find out much easier to share files on Slack. With WhatsApp, it can be a bit clunky. On Slack, the library stores all the files so that it’s easier to find them later. You can even search for keywords that are inside documents. Many times I’m looking for a document but I can’t remember the file name that was sent, I just search for a keyword that I know is in the documents, and there it is!

Taking notes

A nifty hack I’ve discovered is to send a message to myself as a note for later. This works really well when I’m transferring files over, as Slack works across all devices. This has come in handy when I’m taking some reference shots with my mobile for later, or when there’s a cool article or video online, I just send myself a message with the link, and I’m able to pick it up when I need it.

Connect with your favourite APPs with extensions

There is a vast array of extensions to take advantage of on Slack, including some that you might use every day. To make it more flexible the developers of Slack have taken advantage of whatever already exists. There is an endless supply of extensions, including:

  • Twitter
  • Trello
  • HP printers
  • PayPal
  • Survey Monkey
  • Giphy
  • Bitmoji
  • Google Drive

All the above, as well as other APPs designed for the platform for task management, marketing, PR and much more, make it a powerful platform to start using.

Eliminating email

I hate emails. I find them very old fashioned, a thing of the past that organisations are holding on to because they don’t know about the alternatives.

If I was to start a company, I would eliminate email for any internal communication. There really is no need to send mass emails to everybody, thanks to the option to create groups. Emails are sometimes pushed down in the inbox and go unnoticed. Using a solution like Slack will be less messy, with no spam, and opens up the door for more human interaction. What if someone’s birthday is coming up? You could make a private group and organise a surprise gift without them knowing.

Organisations that use Slack have seen a 48.6% reduction in internal email, and some organisations have boasted to completely eradicate it from their routine.

I hate email.

Not convinced? Here are some interesting Slack statistics

Don’t just take my word for it, because at the end of the day this is just my opinion. Here are some interesting statistics compiled by Craig Smith on DMR. Read the full report here.

  • 5.8 million active weekly users since October 2016
  • 60 000 teams since 2015
  • Users are active for an average of 320 minutes on weekdays
  • Users spend an average of 100 million hours on Slack every month
  • Maximum number of 1 million users logged in at a time
  • 77% of Fortune 100 use slack (as of December 2016)

Interesting right? I think Slack is making its way to replace email for internal communication. People won’t stop using email for a long time, but until something better comes along, I’ll continue to invest in Slack.

Do you use Slack at work? What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments.