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Gitter vs Slack: What are the differences?

What is Gitter? Messaging for people who make software. Integrated with your team, projects and your code. Free chat rooms for your public repositories A bit like IRC only smarter. Chats for private repositories as well as organisations..

What is Slack? Bring all your communication together in one place. Imagine all your team communication in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. That’s Slack. All your messages. All your files. And everything from Twitter, Dropbox, Google Docs, Asana, Trello, GitHub and dozens of other services. All together.

Gitter and Slack can be categorized as "Group Chat & Notifications" tools.

Some of the features offered by Gitter are:

  • Know who's seen any message
  • Edit messages after you've sent them
  • Full emoji support

On the other hand, Slack provides the following key features:

  • Create open channels for the projects, groups and topics that the whole team shares.
  • Search with context
  • Autocomplete makes mentioning your teammates quick and painless.

"Github integration" is the primary reason why developers consider Gitter over the competitors, whereas "Easy to integrate with" was stated as the key factor in picking Slack.

According to the StackShare community, Slack has a broader approval, being mentioned in 4743 company stacks & 3359 developers stacks; compared to Gitter, which is listed in 25 company stacks and 41 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -
- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Gitter?

Free chat rooms for your public repositories. A bit like IRC only smarter. Chats for private repositories as well as organisations.

What is Slack?

Imagine all your team communication in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. That’s Slack. All your messages. All your files. And everything from Twitter, Dropbox, Google Docs, Asana, Trello, GitHub and dozens of other services. All together.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Why do developers choose Gitter?
Why do developers choose Slack?

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What are the cons of using Gitter?
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    What companies use Gitter?
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    What tools integrate with Gitter?
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    What are some alternatives to Gitter and Slack?
    Discord is a modern free voice & text chat app for groups of gamers. Our resilient Erlang backend running on the cloud has built in DDoS protection with automatic server failover.
    GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.
    Mattermost is modern communication from behind your firewall.
    Riot brings custom tags to all browsers. Think React + Polymer but with enjoyable syntax and a small learning curve.
    The community platform for the future.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Gitter and Slack

    I use Zulip because I love how it lets me focus on my work, and doesn't need me to be constantly online to be able to participate in conversations that matter to me. Zulip's topics make it super easy to get an overview of all the conversations that happened while I was away, and pick and choose the conversations that I want to catch-up with. Slack 's threads seem like an after-thought and aren't effective for catching-up at all!

    I also love the Zulip community, and the care and effort put in by the members to make it a friendly and welcoming community to new developers, and to make the contribution experience pleasant for all the contributors.

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    Google Drive

    We run a major community project named as @Donut which is an #OpenSource social platform which allows communities to set up their own social environment and @slack platform drives us through the best experience of community interaction. Though we have been using some Open Source Interacting platforms like Gitter and Zulip but the fact that Slack exists and is such an essential tool, it’s really helped us with scaling and still feeling connected to one another across remote places with various teams with appropriate features in it.

    The #User-Friendly Slack brings all the organised conversations at one place giving a prospectus to feel the better user experience on desktop.

    Followings its pros:

    • Allow creating of various channels which can be best suited to organised #projects, #teams and #events.
    • Allow multiple tools and integrations such as Google Drive and GitHub
    • Video Conferencing addition helps teams to organise meetings.
    • No limit for addition of users and its free.
    • Allow threads to keep side conversations from derailing the topic or project at hand.

    The most crucial thing it supports the best security and protection with 2 factors authentication.

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    From a StackShare Community member: “We’re about to start a chat group for our open source project (over 5K stars on GitHub) so we can let our community collaborate more closely. The obvious choice would be Slack (k8s and a ton of major projects use it), but we’ve seen Gitter (webpack uses it) for a lot of open source projects, Discord (Vue.js moved to them), and as of late I’m seeing Spectrum more and more often. Does anyone have experience with these or other alternatives? Is it even worth assessing all these options, or should we just go with Slack? Some things that are important to us: free, all the regular integrations (GitHub, Heroku, etc), mobile & desktop apps, and open source is of course a plus."

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    Interest over time
    Reviews of Gitter and Slack
    Review ofSlackSlack

    Today the impossible happened, our beloved Slack crashed sending chaos into offices around the globe. “Wow, how am I now going to vote for the flavour of our new office candy???”, I thought. But even though it might not have felt like it, everything else around us was still working: the world was still spinning, South Korea was winning over Germany at the World Cup, and today’s quotas and goals had to be met. In these situations, people most often turn towards traditional messaging tools like messenger, WhatsApp or email and hope for the best — that Slack will be back up soon. However, these temporary remedies are not without their complications: undelivered messages that you thought were read, lost documents, mental breakdowns, wasted time, etc.… In general, for us it creates a problematic gap in our office chat history.

    But what if I told you that these crashes could potentially never occur again?

    Yes, this is real life, and it’s exactly what mesh technology is about so we are going to explain it. In this scenario, if Slack ran with mesh networks, its users would not have been affected by its current technology’s single point of failure, which in this case was the crash of the server.

    Lol okay, how is this possible bc this is real life???

    Mesh networks might not sound familiar to everyone so let’s compare it with other well-known networking topologies. Consider a Local Area Network (LAN), where devices are connected to a central access point (imagine it like a star with the central access point in the middle and the devices located at the ends). Be it LAN or wifi, the idea is the same, so when I send a message on Slack, it first arrives at the Slack server (the central access point) and from there it is sent to the recipient.

    In mesh networks, devices are directly connected to each other. They form a local network using existing connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as “connectors”. Devices can act as “routers” and forward messages and files to others, enabling the content to hop between them until it reaches a destination. This eliminates the need for a central entity.

    Let’s apply this concept to today’s crisis. If slack ran on top of mesh networks, their consumers would still be able to communicate and send files even though they were not connected to the crashed server. Once it was up and running again, all their group conversations which would have taken place during the outrage would be uploaded back to Slack’s server once they were back online.

    Honestly, it’s that simple. To Slack, it would not only be convenient for its customers in situations like these (because we would never have Slack crashes), it would also considerably reduce their own infrastructure costs and prevent them from having moments that they might find embarrassing.

    So slack, if you see that mesh networks could potentially help you, come talk to us.


    Avatar of sergiotapia
    Senior Software Engineer
    Review ofSlackSlack

    Slack is gorgeous and runs on multiple platforms - that's benefit #1. You can easily talk on your iMac then switch to your Android device on the fly.

    The one thing I don't really like about it is how it handles multiple organization accounts.

    I am a software consultant so I typically work with multiple teams over the months and it's odd to 'log into the right account'. It's not intuitive at all.

    I would like there to be a way for users to easily pick a 'Persona' and not accidentally post to the wrong company.

    Review ofSlackSlack

    Slack filled a very complicated role and did it elegantly.

    Its very well designed and easy to use. Adding integrations can be complicated but their documentation with images makes it very easy.

    Also I contacted support and get a relevant answer quickly!

    All this on the free plan, you better bet we will be upgrading soon.

    Avatar of vamseev
    Product Manager at StackShare
    Review ofSlackSlack

    Internal Communications made easy

    How developers use Gitter and Slack
    Avatar of StackShare
    StackShare uses SlackSlack

    I first heard about Slack from my friend Matt (shout out to Final!). He was helping me out with some Rails issues so we started using Slack and I liked it. Specifically, the chat interaction. But also all the integrations. I wasn’t thinking of it as a tool to end all tools at first, just a chat tool with some cool integrations. Then I created a Slack account for StackShare, and that’s when things got real.

    Sentry got easier to stay on top of, Heroku was easier to see activity from, discussions were more fluid, and the mobile app was killer. Most of the tools I use either don’t have a mobile app or have shitty ones. Slack is like a replacement for all the mobile apps my tools should have.

    I don’t find Slack particularly useful for focused discussions, so I doubt it will replace email anytime soon for us. Things like product discussions/debates are best via email. It forces you to think before you type and have a clear back and forth with someone.

    Small gripe: I wish Slack would disable email notifications by default, I still haven’t figured out how to turn those off.

    Avatar of datapile
    datapile uses GitterGitter

    We haven't found a better way to communicate directly with the core contributors and developers for many open source projects we utilize on GitHub (Scala, Scala-js, Sinatra, Apache top-level projects, just to name a few).

    It is a solid piece of software that appeals to us who have used Slack in the past, and the tight integration with a single GitHub repository or organization for each Gitter room just makes sense in our eyes.

    Avatar of shridhardalavi
    shridhardalavi uses SlackSlack

    Slack is an instant messaging and collaboration system It unifies your entire team communications, making your workflow, well, flow a lot better. It is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services. Slack teams allow communities, groups, or teams to join through a specific URL or invitation sent by a team admin or owner.

    Avatar of SaberEsPoder
    SaberEsPoder uses SlackSlack

    Slack is our go-to communication tool and it's slowly replacing emails across all departments of the company. We built our own Slack Bot to help us with simple DevOps stuff; Honeybadger notifies us in real time of errors happening on production in our monitoring channel; CircleCI reports builds status and deployment info as well.

    Avatar of Andrew Gatenby
    Andrew Gatenby uses SlackSlack

    Team comms is essential. The R&D team is distributed over two offices, as well as the chance that people are working from home. Slack provides lots of options of keeping individuals and groups up to date. We also use it to integrate into services such as Github and Sentry.

    Avatar of Refractal
    Refractal uses SlackSlack

    Slack is a lifesaver, not only for our day to day team communications and it's direct links into our other tools, but for Beta testing as well, with our custom Slack bot in our beta group being an invaluable asset to avoid giving our testers direct JIRA access.

    Avatar of Mick Dekkers
    Mick Dekkers uses GitterGitter

    Many GitHub communities are on Gitter. It's a great place to ask and answer questions related to open-source frameworks and libraries.

    Avatar of Juliën Hanssens
    Juliën Hanssens uses GitterGitter

    Using Gitter for open source talks and directly communicating with contributors.

    Avatar of Scott Miller
    Scott Miller uses GitterGitter

    My favorite chat tool for open source

    Avatar of Riderman De Sousa Barbosa
    Riderman De Sousa Barbosa uses GitterGitter

    Communication with the team.

    How much does Gitter cost?
    How much does Slack cost?