For quite some time now, freelancers and project groups have relied on online platforms to communicate and delegate. Slack is the clear market leader in this industry, as their service is convenient, free, and cross-device compatible. But it looks like new competitors will pop up sooner rather than later, as Microsoft and Facebook are on the verge of launching their own similar services.
Competition Is On The Horizon For Slack
Everyone in the world will have heard about Slack by now, regardless of whether they access the platform or not. With a valuation close to US$4bn, the platform is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent incumbents. Such a success cannot go by unnoticed, and competition in the online collaboration platforms industry is bound to heat up soon.
Microsoft is starting to make some waves with their new “teams” service, which aims to promote online collaboration and communication. Facebook, on the other hand, made their Workplace by Facebook available to the world a month prior. Both of these offerings aim to take the fight to Slack directly and give consumers more choice as to which platform they want to use.
Thankfully, it appears that Slack was not caught off guard by these announcements. In fact, the company partnered with IBM to make use of its Watson AI services moving forward. For now it remains a bit unclear as to how this integration would work or what Slack users will be able to do with it.
Combining social messaging (somewhat similar to IRC conversations) with dedicated chat rooms for discussions and collaboration is an innovative idea. For Slack, it has paid off quite well, as millions of people use their platform on a weekly basis. There are no unnecessary bells and whistles; just sign up with an email address, a password, and you are ready to go.
But there’s more to this platform than meets the eye. Through several API integrations, it has become easier to share different types of content with other Slack users. Google Docs, Tweets, and even SalesForce information can be imported directly into the platform, which makes for an unprecedented user experience.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook and Microsoft plan to take the fight to Slack. While both of those companies have big brand names, they are a bit late to the party. Moreover, it remains to be seen if either company can offer functionalities or integrations which Slack does not have right now.
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