Every business is unique in the way the team members communicate and collaborate on tasks, so communication tools need to come with a wide variety of options to suit as many business models as possible.
Instant Messaging Apps
Below is an extensive list of the best business instant messaging apps on the market to help you identify the ideal app for your business…
Slack is one of the best known and most widely used instant messaging apps for businesses. It provides one-on-one messaging, group chat, individual and team audio calls as well as video conferencing.
The HipChat app offers similar messaging options and chat tools. There is 1-on-1 instant messaging, group chat rooms, file sharing, screen sharing and video conferencing. It also features various third-party app integrations.
Stride is made by the same people who made HipChat and is a team communication tool that replicates much of what you find in HipChat, while adding natively hosted video and audio meetings.
Microsoft Teams is part of the Office 365 subscription and is software as a service that creates a chat-based workspace focused on real-time interaction. Additional tools include various chat options, notes and Microsoft Office.
The Flowdock app enables the workforces of small businesses to collaborate and keep communications with the usual chat tools in one place. A nice additional feature is the incorporation of hashtags and @-mentions which let someone get another specific user’s attention.
Basecamp 3 has replaced Campfire as a web-based chat tool that doesn’t require you to install any instant messaging apps or clients. You just use a password-protected chat room that team members are invited into and where files can be shared.
Google Hangouts Chat
The Google Hangouts Chat app has evolved into an excellent communication tool for businesses of different sizes. It features deep integration with the G Suite productivity tools including Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar and Mail.
Facebook’s Workplace Chat app is a desktop app featuring screen sharing, group video chat for up to 50 people and live video broadcasting. It also works on iOS and Android.
There are two higher tiers of Amazon Chime with extra business management tools, but the Basic package includes much of what any small business will need. There is one-to-one voice calling, video calling for two people, screen sharing and a message history spanning 30 days.
Skype for Business
Skype offer a nice free business messaging app that offers group video calling for up to 20 people. There are also higher tiers which include many more tools and options.
Troop Messenger focuses on higher security protocols and includes a fingerprint scanner, server-side encryption, activity monitor and 4-digit pin.
Chatwork is the business messaging app you need if you often work with multiple different teams at the same time. Group chats are neatly organized in the sidebar to keep everything simple and easy to access.
There are different versions of Flock with the paid tier offering even more options, though the free version still features unlimited users and the ability to make chat bots via Zapier.
Cisco Webex Teams
Previously known as Spark, the rebranded Cisco Webex Teams app has new features including Giphy integrations and sketching whiteboards to add to its group chats, video calling and file sharing.
Zoho Cliq is the updated version of Zoho chat which was designed for business communication. The app lets you view multiple conversations at once with a unique column-style interface.
The Twist app is a very easy-to-use messaging app that has been designed to provide businesses with a calmer method of collaboration. The simplicity of Twist saw it named as the best communication app by PCMag.
ProofHub is technically a project management app, but it does include useful collaboration tools such as a basic group chat and discussion options.
Missive is another team collaboration app that acts a bit like an email inbox. You use the app to assign specific tasks and organize conversations with different team labels.
Spike has often been called a direct alternative to Slack as it aims to enhance your email inbox with real-time chat and social media integration.
Rocket Chat is an open source team collaboration tool that allows you to add functionality that suits your own business purposes. The app also enables open Github coding and file sharing.
The Hive app attempts to streamline all app features you might need during the business day. There are real-time conversations, to-do-lists, file sharing as well as multiple chat options.
Jandi is a very modern business messaging app featuring custom emojis, one-to-one chat, a rich admin panel, file sharing and task assignment.
Moxtra also focuses on providing secure business messaging and thus offers encrypted video conferencing and e-signatures. It also enables third-party integrations with over 100 different apps.
Blizz is a business chat tool focused on simplicity by including HD VoIP video, team messaging, audio calling and indexed messaging.
The business messaging app formerly known as ClearChat has been rebranded as HighSide. It is a highly secure communication tool that features end-to-end encryption and custom data retention strategies.
For multiple ways for your teams to connect, use the HiBox app for video and instant messaging. The unique artificial intelligence integration includes a virtual assistant.
The AI-powered collaboration app Chanty is designed to make team chat simple, with its ‘smart responses’ feature operating similarly to auto-complete.
Mattermost is built on open-source technology and is self-hosted and designed specifically to enable customization so that each business can build the app to their own requirements.
The Crugo app features standard team chat and video calling as well as calendars and task assignments.
Hubgets is a pretty basic instant messaging tool compared to others on this list, with the app designers aiming to create a what they call a ‘millennial-friendly’ approach to workplace conversations.
Image: Zoho Cliq