Teams · Communication

Slack vs. Hipchat for team communication?

Pete Petrin Software Engineer at Onevest

October 31st, 2014

We have been using hipchat    for a long while and I'd say were happy enough. Some UI things that are annoying and mobile isn't great. Lately Ive been hearing great things about slack. I don't really want to switch systems for a week or two just to test it, so wanted to hear if others have used both and how the two compare and how your team has liked/not liked one or the other.

What I'm concerned with is team productivity and communication.

Monica Borrell CEO and Founder at Cardsmith

October 31st, 2014

I'm becoming a HUGE fan of Slack!  My team switched from Skype to Slack about a month ago and everyone on the team is loving it.  We are a distributed mix of developers who tend to be more quiet and marketeers who are obviously not quiet and it provides a nice 'social' atmosphere for all in addition to being very useful to enhancing team communication.  We have 7 people total and a few public channels:  e.g. business, general, product in addition to private chat.  the public channels have reduced the clutter in my email significantly and we've had NO issues technically.  It is free to try, and very easy to setup and start using.  

Kate Hiscox

October 31st, 2014

We switched to Slack from HipChat. It was the right decision. The only thing we struggle with is pricing for Slack. It's too expensive per user for big teams so we find ourselves trying not to use the archive feature.

Will Koffel Co-Founder at Outlearn

October 31st, 2014

I've used both (though more HipChat).  I find that Slack's UI is confusing for me.  The relationships between channels and people and chats isn't as obvious as HipChat.  And the UI feels "web-based" no matter what client I'm on.  HipChat has nicer native clients.

The main advantages I've seen for Slack are:
- Support for switching easily between multiple accounts, if you work with different companies who use it
- Better support for using it as a document repository, searching through attachments, managing screenshots, etc.

Lots of people rave about how many features slack has, which I suppose is good if "more features wins".  But it depends a lot on whether it's your central collaboration suite, or just something you need for chat features (HipChat has added video chat too recently).

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

October 31st, 2014

I'm a fan of if you use GitHub. At work we use HipChat. I feel like Gitter is a nicer product (I love its sidebar with history of issues and commits). I like it's integration for notifications as well (so certain events can send messages to the sidebar and such - ie. a build from a builder server)...But really it's just personal preference at this point. IRC works as well of course and many of us open source folk like to hang out on there.

As far as productivity is concerned, I'm not sure any of these solutions is going to provide a benefit there more than the next tool.


October 31st, 2014

We switched too, Slack works better on mobile for sure

Shawn H. Yang

October 31st, 2014

Does slack work with people outside your company? Say partners, collaborators, clients, vendors, etc? Can I communicate with them on the same account?

Chris Korhonen Experienced Product Engineer & Leader, CTO of Minibar Delivery

October 31st, 2014

We are currently in the HipChat camp having looked at both applications. The main reason for that is whilst Slack is maybe a bit nicer on the eye for general chat, we’ve found that HipChat is much better in terms of readability and information density when you are piping a lot of information into chat from external sources - in addition to internal communication we also use HipChat extensively for operations stuff. Over the past few months it feels like HipChat have stepped up their game a lot with their client apps, and I hope this continues. I will say that I think Slack has overtaken it a bit in terms of features (If you’re listening HipChat, just give me watch words!). Also I do like the ease of use when it comes to integrations. Pricing-wise they are about the same, while both have a free plan there is enough incentive to upgrade to the paid plans (for Slack its to have more than a few integrations, for HipChat archiving and search).

Angelo H

October 31st, 2014

We've been working on a product,, to allow you to provide sales and service support to your customers and cross-teams communication from one account. We want to provide a simple external communication/collaboration tool that most of current internal tools lack.

This is what provides:
- Sharable URLs for conversations
- Allow customers to send instant messages to your team
- Directory for your team and guests

Disclosure: I work for

Shingai Samudzi

November 1st, 2014

As with any communication system, you'll only get out what your team culture enables you to put in. That said, from my experience, Slack gets my vote because rather than prescribe the "how" of team communication as so many apps do, its basically a platform that allows you implement whatever method you prefer, with very simple UI for centralizing and making transparent conversations around key topics.

Samuel Brown Senior Product Architect at InboundCrowd

November 3rd, 2014

Our team settled on using HipChat due to 1) Price and 2) Video chat.  If you use 1 to 1 video chat which can be very useful then I highly recommend HipChat.  

As mentioned above I feel that HipChat has gotten better and better over the past 6 months and they continue to add enhancements.  I also have made great use of the integrations with other tools like New Relic, LogEntries,, etc.  I believe Slack has similar integrations so both may work if that is what you are trying to accomplish.