NO SLACKING OFF

Slack’s growth is slowing, just as it faces Facebook Workplace

Obsession
Messaging
Obsession
Messaging

Slack, the company that made office messaging apps cool, is seeing its torrid growth slow, even as a far larger rival has emerged. That would be Facebook Workplace, which launched two weeks ago (Oct. 10). Workplace is undercutting Slack on price and leveraging its consumer version’s existing userbase of 1.7 billion monthly active users.

Slack’s growth to date is nothing to sniff at, hitting 4 million daily active users (DAU) in four years, which translates into $100 million in annualized revenue. But its success means its performance will now inevitably be compared to the growth of Workplace. Here are Slack’s latest numbers DAU numbers.

Drill down a little deeper and we see growth slowing significantly, for both total daily actives, which includes free accounts, and “paid seats,” where which cost $6.67 and up for each account.

Year-on-year growth Daily active users Paid seats
Oct. 2015 568% 544%
Oct. 2016 135% 166%
Source: Slack

Slack still has a considerable headstart over Workplace in providing chat accounts to workers. It reports 33,000 paid “teams” currently, compared to the 1,000 companies that Facebook says has been using Workplace in closed testing. A direct comparison is a little tricky, since each company could make more than one “team” on Slack, but it’s clear that the incumbent is out ahead of the competition, for now.

Slack and Facebook will tussle over companies with office-bound populations, like big ad agencies, other tech companies, or media organizations—all current Slack customers. But Facebook has said it intends to go after a far broader spectrum of workers than that. At its Workplace launch event in London, it said it intended its messaging system to be used by everyone from factory workers to baristas—in addition to white-collar folks like the employees of ad agency TBWA, which tested the platform.

Scant data is available for Workplace for now, but Slack’s salad days appear to be behind it. From now on, its user metrics will be benchmarked against Facebook’s work offering, which means it has little opportunity to slack off.

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