Slack Redesigned Its Interface but Is It Too Late?
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I recently asked my Twitter followers if they prefer Slack or Discord for a community. I expected Slack to be the overwhelming winner (because "Discord is for gamers") but it wasn't. Slack actually lost to Discord - 50% to 40%.
Then this week, Slack announced a new design, and looking at the screenshots, the new design looks a bit more like Discord.
Slack called the new design "a little bit of polish" but isn't rolling it out to everyone and the screenshots make it look like a whole new experience. There's nothing small about it.
But, is it too little too late?
Since 2018, Slack's quarterly mobile app downloads grew 66%. Discord's downloads grew 120% at the same. You might be thinking at this point that while the percent is higher the absolute numbers can't be higher as well because "Discord is only for gamers".
According to our App Intelligence, Discord added 21.8M new downloads in Q2 of this year while Slack added 3M. Yes, that's seven times the downloads. Between 2018 and July of this year, Slack got 56M downloads while Discord added 507M.
I think it's safe to say Discord isn't just for gamers anymore, and that's a big problem for Slack. The kind of problem that a new design may help with but probably not solve. I could be wrong...
Slack has an even bigger problem than Discord - Microsoft Teams! Team's downloads grew 3,385% since 2018 and our estimates show it's now leading with 24.4M downloads in Q2.
And if you're thinking, "Teams, Slack, and Discord are all different!" you aren't wrong, but users still have a preference and that preference seems to be mutually exclusive and that hurts growth.
We've been using Slack at Appfigures for a long long time, and I'm excited to see what the new design brings. I just wish I didn't have to wait a few months to try it.
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