Slack and Mattermost are very similar products competing for a very different chunk of the market. Slack is directed more towards users who want the ease of access, simplicity and ‘it just works’ philosophy. Mattermost on the other hand, tries to give you a sense of security, privacy, and of course no limit on search history. I’ll compare both software on the following parameters to give you a better idea while choosing the best communication tool for your organization.
Slack vs Mattermost
Mattermost host is self-hosted
Slack is a cloud-based tool and is extremely easy to incorporate in your existing organization. You can just create a team, add members and get working, it’s that simple. Even TechWiser runs on Slack. Mattermost, on the other hand, gives you the freedom of hosting your own server which allows you to implement the software according to your Organization’s security guidelines.
Let me make it easy for you if your organization wants to store your chat conversations, attachments, and files locally on their own servers. Want more control over how the tool is implemented on your work network or have strict IT regulations, then Mattermost is the way to go.
However, If your team is small and new with a lot of diversity who want a tool that gets things done? Slack is the best tool for you.
2. User Interface and User Experience
Both have similar UI
Like I said before, Slack is the go-to tool at TechWiser but I had no problem transitioning to Mattermost during my testing.
Both Slack and Mattermost look identical to each other with a similar layout where you get a huge chat window on the right and contacts on the left. You can add different teams and keep their access to channels and users exclusive. It means that you can work with different teams and they would not have access to each other’s channels which is a great plus for organizations with different teams. Both Slack and Mattermost support rich-text formatting which means you get a consistent texting experience on both tools.
Apart from that, you get custom slash commands, emojis, and multiple language support on both. Mattermost supports 16 different languages whereas Slack only supports five. Plus, you can customize Mattermost to suit your organization’s branding.
Not to rant but I noticed a minor difference between Slack and Mattermost, the reply option. Slack implements it so badly that I never noticed it was bad until I used Mattermost. Mattermost’s reply feature is more interpretable than Slack.
Bottom Line; Slack and Mattermost are equally good and you get a consistent layout and User Experience on both tools. It would boil down to preference, really.
3. Message Search Limit
No limit on the history of message
Both Slack and Mattermost have free plans along with paid subscriptions. Slack, however, limits your searchable message limit to 10,000 messages in the free version which can be a dealbreaker for a lot of organizations. Mattermost has no such limit in the free plan because the data is stored on your own server anyway.
You have to upgrade to the paid plan to get rid of this limit in Slack but you can get around this limitation with Slarck which lets you search your entire search history, even on the free plan.
4. Apps and bot Integration
Slack has better apps integrations
I’ll be honest here, Slack beats Mattermost out of the park when it comes to integration with the tool. Slack has close to 1500 app integrations and bots which makes Slack an overpowered God. Mattermost and Slack both have APIs to create your apps and bots but Slack wins by sheer numbers. Check out some of the best Slack apps here.
If you want a communication tool that sits between your existing services like Google Drive, Github, Trello, Zapier, then Slack is a no brainer. Mattermost integrates Github, Zapier, Docker, GoLang, Jira, etc, so if you work with these services want other Mattermost parameters fit your needs then go for Mattermost.
5. Mobile Apps
Both have apps for mobile, but Slack is polished.
Just like the desktop version of the tool, mobile apps are just as important today. Both Slack and Mattermost are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. However, Slack has figured out its apps and you can transition from desktop to mobile seamlessly. Mattermost apps are just there with minor hiccups here and there. For example, the iOS app for Mattermost freezes sometimes and doesn’t sync notifications. So Slack takes the cake here.
6. Video Calling
Mattermost lacks native video calling.
Slack has an integrated Voice and Video calling feature which supports one-on-one calling on the free plan. Mattermost used to implement webRTC for video calling but they have discontinued the integration since the beta. You can install third-party plugins like Skype for Business, Jitsi, Zoom, BigBlueButton, etc. Most of the Plugins have their own pricing so it can be an added expense for users who don’t already have a video calling solution in their organization.
So if you want inbuilt calling support, Slack is already there, however, if you already pay for a service among that support Mattermost, then integrating those with Mattermost would be a better option.
7. File Storage
There is no storage limit in Mattermost.
Slack gives you 5GB total file storage in the free version and 10GB per user if you upgrade to a paid plan. As you exceed the 5GB limit, the older files are archived which can be unlocked when you upgrade. This is not the case with Mattermost, all the files are stored on your own Database, you can store as much data on the servers as there is space, and remain accessible until deleted from the servers.
Mattermost is free and opensource for the self-hosted plan.
I compared the features which you get in the free version of Slack and Mattermost but if you wish to upgrade to a paid subscription, you’ll get some extra enterprise level perks. Slack Standard paid plan gives you OAuth access with Google APIs, SAML based single Sign-on, custom retention policy for files and messages, and priority support. Mattermost Enterprise E10 also offers features like LDAP SSO, encrypted push notifications, advanced access control policy, and next business day support. Slack Standard is priced at $80/user/yr (discounted at $32/user/yr) and Mattermost Enterprise E10 will set you back at $39/user/yr.
Closing Words: Slack v Mattermost
As I said earlier, Slack and Mattermost are quite similar software solutions which cater to very different niches. As they are in the same competing market, a lot of users get confused between the two choices. Slack should be your choice if your organization is small, diverse, and wants a tool that ‘just works’. It is easy to implement and integration with other apps and services just makes it incredibly easy.
Mattermost should be the choice for organizations where data security and privacy is a top priority. Self-hosting just makes auditing easier and gives your organization more control over the data.
I hope this guide helped you clear any doubts about the two tools. What do you think about these two software applications and which one do you use at your workplace? Let me know in the comments below. If you are looking for free instant messaging apps for business then check it out here.