These Slack user statistics show it’s crushing competitors on mobile

By Abhinav Agrawal

Slack has been the darling of Silicon Valley for the last few years. Already a “unicorn” (>$1B valuation), many observers believe the company will soon become a decacorn ($10B valuation) given its viral growth rate.

Given such lofty expectations, we wondered how Slack users are using and engaging with its mobile app. We pulled statistics on the Slack app from SurveyMonkey Intelligence to answer the following questions:

  • How is the company faring against its direct competitors in the productivity app category, like Yammer, Hipchat, and Skupe?
  • Has its usage expanded beyond tech companies and the Bay Area?
  • Does the usage of Slack’s app help justify its value?

Slack users far outnumber users of competitive apps

Despite having the newest offering

In terms of monthly active users, the Slack app dominates all other competitors who offer a similar service on iOS and Android. Hipchat, Skype for Business, and Yammer all trail Slack despite launching earlier and spending considerably more on sales and user acquisition.

Given the network effects, high switching costs, and low incentives to switch once you have selected a tool, competitors need to ramp up their sales and marketing efforts before Slack locks up the market entirely.

Plus, Slack enjoys much higher engagement than similar apps

Not only is the Slack app larger in terms of total number of users, it also enjoys users who engage with the app more frequently versus users of similar tools.

Slack’s audience not only engages with the app frequently, it also retains rather well. Slack’s customer retention from week-to-week is around 90%, which is higher than most apps in the category.

The Bay Area is the epicenter of Slack’s usage on mobile… for now

Many commentators have expressed skepticism whether Slack can cross the chasm to non-tech enterprises outside the Bay Area. While only time will tell, our initial data leads us to believe that the service is starting to gain ground outside the Bay Area.

While just more than half of Slack’s users are in the West region, it does have a presence in other parts of the country (~10% of its users are in the Midwest and ~15% each in the South and Northeast regions respectively). Compare its regional distribution to Google Docs to see how much growth potential it has left in other regions.

And there are plenty of potential expansion opportunities

A comparison of the other apps that Slack users use offers some guide to the other parts of the value chain that Slack might disintermediate:

  • Document authoring: With many links of documents being pasted into Slack, players like Google Docs (~50% of Slack users use Google Docs), Office365, and startups like Quip risk being replaceable containers integrated into Slack.
  • Storage: Companies like Dropbox (~30% of Slack users use Dropbox) which have been working on productivity tools for teams also have risk as Slack swallows storage and directly stores documents from document authoring companies.
  • Task management: While currently not a focus for the company, it is easy to imagine a future where tools like Asana, JIRA, and Trello live as integrations and bots within the Slack platform.

To sum up, Slack has extremely solid growth metrics and seems poised to continue dominating this market. Atlassian, Google, Microsoft, and others may need to think outside the box to avoid losing the heart of tomorrow’s enterprise workflow.

This post originally appeared on June 24, 2016 on the blog of SurveyMonkey Intelligence, a competitive intelligence product for mobile apps.

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