Slack vs MatterMost and Rocket Chat. Are the open Source Alternatives worth it ?

  • Aug 30, 2017

Chat apps used in the workplace are on the rise to becoming the next colossal thing that unified communications will get to experience. This is because productivity chat tools lack the nuisance and clutter that characterize emails. They promote workplace collaboration so that it entirely supersedes instant messaging apps that were used previously. Robust team collaboration software such as Slack, Rocket Chat and MatterMost are taking over. The cloud has allowed these apps to perform much more than just instant messaging. This is because they assist in getting work done with a searchable chat that is constant and always existing. These productivity chat tools empower collaboration and are now designed with additional tools and features that support and facilitate projects.

Slack vs Rocket Chat vs MatterMost
There are several productivity chat tools in the market today and this has made it very difficult to select the best. Generally, good marketing and a good design can do wonders for a product but it is also fair to acknowledge that each product has its pros and cons. The following is a detailed comparison of Slack, Rocket and MatterMost.

Slack can be described as an online messaging platform. It can be used on iOS, Android, Mac OS and Windows. It allows users to create teams on the broadest discussion level immediately they sign up. This platform allows people to have several teams for a one user account. Slack has 2 types of channels i.e. private and public. The public channel consists of threads that every team member can access as well as participate in. The private channel can strictly be accessed via the team members who the channel creator has specified. Slack supports private or direct messages from a team member to another. It has a web-based architecture.

It has a notification system that alerts the user via several ways (inclusive of email) if they have a message even if they are logged out. Slack is capable of synchronizing devices. Other features include internal search, archiving, unlimited team member invites, unlimited channel and team creation and file uploads. It has social network page such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It is considered to be the chat app that is most customizable.

The following are some advantages of Slack:

• Appearance – It has a very slick user interface that is simple in design. The user interface is characterized by a casual playfulness that encourages easier communication.

• Support speed – It provides sufficiently fast support to both paying members and free version members.

• Integrations – Slack accommodates numerous third-party service integrations and this covers workplace staples like Asana, Zendesk, Trello and Google Drive. This list is usually on the increase thus enabling the messaging app to a remarkable job of functioning as a collaboration and productivity tool stand-in.

• Robust notifications – The notifications of Slack can be customized to only send an alert when certain key words are mentioned.

• File uploading – It allows the user to easily upload any file type. File uploading can be made available for either a single user or multiple users.

• It has a screen sharing feature.

• It has a discussion forum.

• It supports Android and iOS mobile apps.

• Archiving – It allows for archiving and this is important because all organizations require records.

• Search – This feature enables users to search for files, archives and messages.

The following are some limitations of using Slack:

• Integration limit – Free-version users are only allowed to integrate up to ten third-party services.

• Cost – The Standard version requires a monthly of $8 per user for those who are interested in upgrading. This is quite high.

• Audio and video chat options – It lacks good audio and video chat options. This really limits teams that rely on Skype/VoIP.

• It does not have file versioning.

• It does not have project wiki.

• It lacks both contact and calendar sharing.

Rocket.Chat can be defined as a team collaboration platform that is open source. It is the most ideal solution for developers that are keen on getting hands on to create a personal unique work chat app. It has social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. It has a web-based architecture. Rocket.Chat is compatible with 4 operating systems i.e. Windows, OS X, Linux and FreeBSD.

The following are some advantages of Rocket.Chat:

• allows users to construct, build as well as evolve their own chat platform using the platform.

• It facilitates white labeling.

• It allows users to send files and messages across channels.

• It enables users to receive notifications on both mentions and unreads.

• It allows users to search from a smartphone or PC.

• It has audio and video conferencing.

• It has a screen sharing feature.

• It features a discussion forum.

• It features online chatting.

• It supports Android and iOS mobile apps.

The following are some limitations of using Rocket.Chat:

• It lacks project wiki.

• It lacks contact and calendar sharing.

• It does not have file versioning.

MatterMost can be described as an open source platform that is utilized for team collaboration. Twitter and Facebook are the only social network pages available on this platform. It is characterized by web-based architecture. It only operates on Linux operating system. This product provides users with a self-hosted approach.

The following are some advantages of MatterMost:

• It supports both incoming and outgoing web-hook integrations of Slack.

• It is available on mobile devices, PC and Mac.

• It allows users to utilize a single account across all teams.

• It supports threaded messaging, this enables the user to reply and create one thread on a a particular message.

• It allows for searchable hashtags to be clicked.

• It features a discussion forum.

• It supports Android and iOS mobile apps.

• It has 21 color settings and up to 11 fonts.

• MatterMost has channel names that are less confusing.

• Messages can be formatted as either blocked paragraphs or as lists.

• MatterMost offers scalability, extensibility, legal compliance, privacy and control that enterprises require.

The following are some limitations of using MatterMost:

• It lacks service integrations.

• It has a poor Android application.

• It does not have audio and video conferencing.

• It does not have contact, document, calendar and screen sharing.

• It lacks file versioning.

• It does not have project wiki.

Well as you can see you can definitely save some money by going the open source route, both these applications (Mattermost and Rocketchat) offer great features and are worth the trouble of getting your hands dirty with Linux boxes. Both Vultr and DO give you options to get one click install of Docker and installing Rocket Chat is a breeze once you have Docker going on a Linux Box.

Competition breeds innovation and that is why it is good. There is no single chat app that is superior to the next and this is because each one has the ability to accomplish something different properly. This means that whatever solution that fits the needs of the consumer is usually on a case-by-case basis.

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