Using the free version of Slack (or any free service)- is it worth it?
by Rob Austin
We’ve been using the Slack app here at WorkSite for quite a while now. It’s great for keeping emails, thoughts, files and conversations about a single topic all in one place. No more hunting through Gmail, Drive and Chats to find that one thing you need to find. And the ability to add other people to some accounts but not all (when used correctly) keeps the noise at a minimum. However it does have a few downsides you should be aware of before you start using it, or even if you’ve been invested in it for a while.
First off- the free version was recently limited to a 90 day history (among other changes) before you will no longer be able to read or search for messages. That may sound like quite a bit, but you’re working on multiple projects that naturally ebb and flow before they’re complete, 90 days will be up before you know it. And if the point of Slack is to have a repository of whatever you deem “important” you might not be able to see that unless you “pinned” it to the channel ahead of time.
Secondly, employers or admins of Slack channels can take steps to see your messages. It’s true that they have to take many steps and jump through some hoops to get a hold of them, but it’s totally possible. Since we have a tendency to intertwine personal and work messages in business emails or on phones that a company might give us, that could lead to some problems for everyone involved.
Thirdly, “free” is just never truly free is it? There’s a balance inherent in almost everything we do on a daily basis. If you’re getting something for free, likely you’re giving up something in return. I’m looking at you Facebook! They’re worth billions and yet I have never given them a single dollar. Think of that the next time you sign up for any “free” service, Slack or otherwise.
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