Slack vs Microsoft Teams: the collaboration app battle
Yesterday, Microsoft announced that its workplace messaging app Microsoft Teams has exceeded expectations and targets, growing by 54% since July - from 13mn users in July to more than 20mn daily active users today.
The ongoing battle to pick clean the carcass of email as an internal communication tool took a turn for the worse as far as collaboration app Slack is concerned.
Slack still managed to grow its own user base by 20% in the last year, but its expansion is bringing it into direct competition with apps like Teams, while a host of eager startups and spin-offs nip at its heels.
Slack countered the announcement as misleading, however. “You can’t transform a workplace if people aren’t actually using your product. Slack continues to see unmatched engagement on our platform with over 5bn weekly actions, including more than 1bn mobile actions,” a Slack spokesman told MarketWatch in an email. “Among our paid customers, users spend more than 9 hours per workday connected to our service, including spending about 90 minutes per workday actively using Slack.” The company also threw a little shade in a blog post last month, claiming that almost three-quarters of its users are Office 365 users.
Which one is actually better?
Both applications offer freemium pricing models, basic text chat (with a few added things like stickers, GIFs and tagging), although according to Digital Trends’ recent coverage, Slack has better integration with apps like GIPHY, which “may be an important factor depending on how memetastic your office is.”
The free version of Teams comes with 3GB less storage than the free version of Slack, although Office 365 users get boosted to 1TB of space, whereas Slack’s premium plan caps out at 20GB per user.
The two services provide a sliding scale of application integrations, with Slack offering up to 800, but capping the free version at 10. Teams only offers about 180, but they’re all available from the get-go.
Regardless of which company is this week’s victor, it’s clear that the competition over communication inside (and outside) the enterprise is being valued at a premium, and we’re in the middle of a radical shift in the way people exchange information digitally at work.
According to Slack’s VP & General Manager of Platform, Brian Elliott, the industry is “seeing a generational shift in how we collaborate at work. People are moving away from email and into channels, away from legacy suites of badly connected products and onto a new customisable platform that can more easily connect the tools they use to work.”
Verizon to sell Yahoo and AOL for $5 Billion to Apollo
US telecoms giant Verizon is selling its media assets, which includes Yahoo and AOL, to Apollo Global Management, a US private equity firm in a deal worth $5bn (£3.6bn). Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo at the close of the transaction and continue to be led by CEO Guru Gowrappan.
According to Verizon this corporate carveout will allow Verizon Media to aggressively pursue growth areas and stands to benefit its employees, advertisers, publishing partners, and nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide.
“The past two-quarters of double-digit growth have demonstrated our ability to transform our media ecosystem. With Apollo’s sector expertise and strategic insight, Yahoo will be well-positioned to capitalise on market opportunities, media, and transaction experience and continue to grow our full-stack digital advertising platform. This transition will help to accelerate our growth for the long-term success of the company.” Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media.
Dominating the internet
Yahoo and AOL once dominated the internet but were subsequently overshadowed by firms like Google and Facebook, instead, they both became giant publishers. Yahoo Sports is a popular destination with sports fans, and Yahoo Finance provides a wealth of information for retail traders. AOL acquired a variety of early media brands, including the Huffington Post (now HuffPost), TechCrunch and Engadget, and several digital ad-tech companies to create a giant platform for advertising. Verizon bought Yahoo in 2017 and AOL in 2015 for a combined $9bn, so are selling at a considerable loss.
“The next iteration requires full investment and the right resources. During the strategic review process, Apollo delivered the strongest vision and strategy for the next phase of Verizon Media. I have full confidence that Yahoo will take off in its new home.” Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon.
The sale by Verizon comes after it disposed of blogging platform Tumblr in 2019 and news website HuffPost last year. Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash and preferred interests of $750 million. The transaction includes the assets of Verizon Media, including its brands and businesses.
The transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions and expected to close in the second half of 2021.