Slack, 4,000,000 users globally, and Japan


Translator: Bjol R. Frenkenberger and Issei Watanabe
Editor: Bjol R. Frenkenberger

Since its launch in 2013 the team communication tool Slack has become
enormously successful. Slack can not only be used on PCs or Macs but
also on Android or Apple smartphones.

This October the service’s daily usage exceeded 4,000,000 users globally.
Japanese usage can be assumed to have increased as well. Whether this
is indeed the case shall be analysed in this article using actual user data.

What is Slack ?



  • From Google Play

The term chat is usually associated with household names such as Skype or
the business customer focused Chatwork. Slack is often assumed to be
a competitor of these companies.

What makes Slack special is the combination of a Twitter mention function
(@Smith) with a Google calendar function. One can also set up a chatbot. This
mix of services provides the base of Slack’s usability and success.

With Slack managing a number of teams becomes easy and this is reflected
in Slack’s popularity with IT startups. The service is mainly used by businesses as a tool vital for team communication.

Regular Usage Increases

The following is an analysis of the Japan 2016 Android MAU numbers.



  • [Data Source: App Ape Analytics – based on 30,000 android devices].
    MAU (Monthly Active Users): The number of active users who activated the app at least once per month.

This September the MAU has significantly increased, usage is 2.5 times
higher than in August. In April a significant decrease in usage occurred.
This can be related to seasonal impact as Japanese companies are engaged
in internal revisions during this period.

Men in their 20s as a Significant User Group

The gender/age ratio can help us understand how different demographic
groups use Slack. This analysis is based on MAU data.



  • [Data Source: App Ape Analytics – based on 30,000 android devices].
    Gender Ratio: The ratio of males to females who activated the app at least once during a certain period.
    Gender & Age Ratio: The ratio of males to females who activated the app at least once during a certain period
    based on their respective age group.

The gender/age ratio data shows that most Slack users are men in their 20s while the number of male user in their 40s and 50s is close to zero. This
result is in accordance with data of comparable apps. Younger users can
be assumed to be more open to new IT developments, to services like Slack.

The MAU shows an inactive user rate of only 5.8%, 94.2% of app owners use the app at least once per month. This active rate is remarkably high
compared to similar apps.

Employees can thus be assumed to be using Slack regularly as a
communication tool within the company.

Peak Business Use based on the Hourly Active Rate

The following is an analysis of active rate data from Monday and Saturday.



  • [Data Source: App Ape Analytics – based on 30,000 android devices].
    Hourly Active Rate: Shows when the app is used on an hourly basis. This is median data where weekdays and
    weekends are displayed separately.

Monday has a higher active rate than Saturday which illustrates the app’s
business focus. Monday peak usage occurs at 19:00, which can be assumed
to indicate that there are a significant number of employees who use Slack
to leave a message before they head home.

Saturday’s active rate peak occurs at 00:00. This implies that users tend to
check business chats before going to bed.

Slack’s data is significantly different from gaming apps which makes sense
as it is an app conceived for business purposes. Its usage data shows
characteristics ideal for any mobile app.


Did you enjoy our analysis? The data already shows Slack’s popularity but
we do expect its user base to grow further.

The app is highly recognized as a tool for business purposes and many
companies use it as their main communication tool. For users, this app has
become an essential tool in their daily work lives. The Slack team has thus
succeeded in achieving the goals of many app developers.

For this article, we used App Ape Analytics.