According to research by Fierce, Inc., 86% of employees blame lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Businesses require tools that help employees communicate more effectively. But with so many options out there, picking the right one can be overwhelming. We’ve narrowed down the options to two stellar communication apps: Google Hangouts vs Slack. In this article, we’ll compare the two to see how they stack up against each other.
Our goal is to make it easier for you to identify the best one for your business needs. Let’s dive in!
Slack is a simple collaboration app that makes it easier for large teams to organize their work. With Slack, you can create dedicated channels for certain topics, teams, or projects so that everyone is in the loop on what’s going on. The app is mainly used for messaging, but it also has a video tool for making calls.
Since its launch in 2013, Slack has been keeping its promise to increase productivity and business success by improving office communication. In 2016, Slack passed 4 million daily users and 1.25 million paying users.
Check out Slack’s pitch:
“When we say ‘Slack is where work happens,’ we don’t just mean people sending messages to one another, but the integrated workflows, business processes, data streams and applications that spin the gears of work for tens of thousands of our business customers around the world.”
In 2018, G Suite split its Hangouts app into two parts—Hangouts Meet (a video conferencing platform) and Hangouts Chat (a workplace communication tool)—to bring teams together.
Scott Johnston, Director of Product Management for Hangouts, describes Chat as “an intelligent communication app for teams that takes direct messaging in Hangouts and evolves it to reflect the way modern teams talk business.” Chat is an enterprise-grade solution where users can join virtual rooms with threaded conversations for every project they’re working on. Each room can accommodate up to 8,000 members.
Meet is your business-focused conferencing tool for effortlessly hosting meetings. “With a fast, lightweight interface and smart participant management, multi-person video calls are a breeze.”
Here’s an honest comment from The Verge:
“In a way, Hangouts is an extension of Gmail’s product philosophy: to create a conversation between people instead of a chaotic flurry of messages.”
What Do Slack and Hangouts Have in Common?
Both solutions were designed for every kind of business. Their shared goal is to make sure teams don’t get their wires crossed. You can run both Slack and Hangouts as apps or through a browser.
On both platforms, users can create group threads or chat separately. On Slack though, they can ping other people using @-mentions.
Whether you’re on Slack or Hangouts, you can search a topic and find all message threads related to your search.
Users can add files and share them with their teammates. Uploaded files are stored, searchable, and shareable across workspaces. However, screen sharing in Slack works only in the app and not in the browser.
Both platforms use multi-factor authentication for security. All video and audio streams are encrypted.
What Slack Does Better
Slack lets you see if your contacts are online. Hangouts, on the other hand, only displays your contacts’ email address.
Slack offers a large number of third-party integrations. From developer platforms like GitHub to productivity tools like Asana, the list is constantly growing.
If you’re part of several companies, Slack lets you access all domains at the same time.
Slack’s user interface has a fresh design. However, a minimalistic and professional UI like Hangouts’ can work better in the long run because not everybody is willing to spend time in order to understand complex interfaces.
With Slack, anyone can join a conversation thread in an open channel. The risk is that people can clog up the channel with random groups and meaningless conversations, so you may want to consider creating private channels (which require invites to join).
What Hangouts Does Better
No Extra Costs
Hangouts is a cost-effective collaboration platform for regular users and enterprise customers. As part of G Suite, Hangouts doesn’t require any extra payments to retain older data like Slack does.
Integration with G Suite Products
This is one of the most significant differences between Hangouts and Slack. Hangouts integrates seamlessly with the entire Google Apps ecosystem, allowing you to work in a number of apps while staying on top of communication.
Automatic Video Call Scheduling
Thanks to Hangouts Meet, joining meetings is now effortless. G Suite users can start a video meeting using a shared link. Invites are shared via Google Calendar, links, or email. Hangouts Meet’s video call feature supports up to 30 participants, which is especially great if you work on larger teams.
The Chat feature has a bot—@meet—for automatically scheduling meetings; it compares Google Calendar schedules of chat participants and picks a free time. Syncing calendars and minimizing scheduling conflicts have never been easier.
Forget about creating new accounts for all of your team members. G Suite users simply log in to their Google account—and we all have one of those, don’t we?
Slack, on the other hand, requires that you associate your email with new “accounts” each time you join a new workspace. This adds the extra burden of password management.
Gmail Search Bar
Looking for old information you exchanged with members of your team but don’t want to waste time scrolling? Just use the search bar! You can revisit old discussions in your chat history directly from the search bar in Gmail.
Accessible Across Multiple Devices
Google Hangouts guarantees that everyone in your organization will be on the same page by reducing device and software dependencies. You can easily use Hangouts across a number of apps and browsers.
Hangouts vs Slack, Which App Is Right for You?
There are many great communication tools out there. While Slack stands alone as a fresh, hip, and social collaboration platform, Hangouts is a unified communication service that’s perfect for G Suite users.
At the end of the day, we can’t say that one collaboration tool is a definite winner. We each have our own needs, so the ball is in your court. That said, if you are a G Suite user, Hangouts will do everything you need without the need for additional integrations or costs.