Business instant messaging is not a nice-to-have addition to the workplace anymore. Instead, it is an integral communication practice for companies of all sizes.
Remote and hybrid work models are becoming more prevalent. With the rise of digital workplaces, everybody needs a quick, efficient, and familiar way to communicate. Business instant messaging is exactly that.
Read on to learn what are the best instant messaging apps for business communication in 2022, and learn how you can choose the best instant messaging solution for your organization. ➡️ Before you continue, make sure to get our report on instant messaging and find out what are the findings from our research on workplace communication.➡️
Why do businesses need instant messaging?
In our everyday life, we communicate very differently than a decade ago. We use apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, and others, to keep in touch with friends and family. Younger generations are especially prone to instant messaging: 75% of Millennials and Gen Z would rather text people than talk to them.
Due to the dispersed workforce, businesses started implementing instant messaging solutions that mimic consumer-oriented apps. In comparison to email, they are a faster way to get in touch and support more options to communicate - chat, video, voice messages, pictures, etc.
10 best business instant messaging apps
Here are our picks for the best business instant messaging apps to use in your organization. Read on to find out more about them and see how they could fit into your company.
Rocket.Chat is is a great way for team members to connect via instant messaging, video calling, and voice messages.
This versatile instant messaging platform is built to go beyond team communication. It allows users to connect with external partners and customers via the platform - irrespective of the channel they use.
Moreover, Rocket.Chat supports various features like team polling that can make communication more efficient for teams.
Since it’s built on open source technology, it’s a good choice for businesses that pay extra attention to data security and flexibility.
Rocket.Chat's key features include:
- end-to-end encryption
- on-premise or cloud deployment
- flexible chat engine for various business messaging use-cases
Among a suite of their products, Microsoft also offers the business instant messaging app MS Teams. Companies mostly started using it since it was a free addition to their MS package.
Initially, there were reports of the app being clunky and not so user-friendly. However, a wide user base of MS products helped to make the MS Teams one of the most popular instant messaging apps for businesses worldwide. It's also a native replacement for Skype for Business after its retirement.
In a nutshell, MS Teams is a great solution for
- large enterprises without stringent data privacy policies
- organizations based in the US
- companies that love and use MS 365 s
You might think of Webex as a video conferencing app first, but they also offer an instant messaging solution to businesses.
Their app combines calling, video meetings, and messages to raise productivity across teams. In comparison to other apps, they offer stronger collaborative features in video conferencing such as on-screen reactions, immersive content sharing, and AI-powered features.
With Webex, you can
- share screen and present online
- organize and have webinars
- enjoy up to 10GB of cloud storage.
Pumble is a great business instant messaging solution to replace email for distributed teams.
Although they are a relatively new on the market, they offer a product that most businesses need: a simple, intuitive instant messaging product that allows employees to communicate with their coworkers via direct messages, in channels, and in threads.
What makes Pumble especially attractive is that it’s free for teams of all sizes - message history included!
Key features of Pumble include:
- channels, direct messages, and threads
- text, voice, and video messages
- smart notifications, reminders, and message scheduling.
Ring Central has long been providing services to contact centers. However, they’ve successfully dipped into the world of unified communications systems for businesses by offering Ring Central MVP, a messaging, video, and phone solution in one.
With powerful integrations and analytics, Ring Central is a great solution for distributed teams that use diverse communication channels. Therefore, it’s also useful to deskless employees in industries such as retail.
With Ring Central, you can
- switch from your team chat to phone or video with a tap
- integrate your existing team collaboration solutions
- organize dedicated folders and threads for projects, topics, and teams.
Slack is probably the most famous business instant messaging app out there. Slack established itself early on the business communication market as the best alternative to emails which were a standard way of communicating in the workplace.
However, over the years Slack got some serious competition that wanted to make business instant messaging comply with highest data security standards. Open source alternatives to Slack also make it easier to adapt to specific industry regulations.
Nowadays, Slack has grown into a bigger product that incorporates other functionalities as well. However, instant messaging is still core to the Slack ecosystem. Numerous integrations also make it really central to everyday communication.
Slack is a great solution for businesses that want to
- see a great user experience in their instant messaging app
- connect their existing tech stack with their team chat
- customize their notifications.
Companies like NASA, Oracle, and Nike use Chanty to stay productive and aligned with their team members’ goals.
Besides instant messaging, this productivity app for businesses includes features for task management, such as Kanban board and to-do lists.
In their own words, Chanty doesn’t want its users to be overloaded with confusing features. The simplicity and ease of use are what their customers value as well.
Choose Chanty as your instant messaging app if you need:
- unlimited message history
- simple project management features
- Teambook hum with members, tasks, conversations and shared content.
This team collaboration software is another great way to support effective business communication in your company. Troop Messenger’s features range from instant messaging to video calls, with innovative features like self-destructing messages, flagging messages and responding later.
Troop Messenger can also be deployed on-premise, making it a good choice for organizations in highly regulated industries.
Some unique features of Troop Messenger include:
- bulk messaging
- vanishing messages for ultimate security
- flagging important messages.
Flock aims to provide its users with a simple way to handle business communication and avoid clutter that comes with it. Features like private and public channels, video conferencing, voice notes, reminders, and to-dos make Flock a well-rounded team collaboration tool.
Moreover, Flock allows you to create automated mailing lists for each channel when it’s easier to reach people with emails.
This instant messaging app is meant for businesses of all sizes since it’s easily scalable and secure.
Flock is a great chat app for work because:
- simple, user-friendly direct chats, channels, and group messages
- video conferencing features
- easy file sharing.
Ryver is a business instant messaging app that supports all the standard business communication channels. Besides chat, it allows users to make video and voice calls, share files, and participate in forums.
This chat platform also incorporates tasks that help teams stay aligned on their work. Although it’s a fairly simple app, users love it for it. They praise its user-friendly interface and integrations with Github, Dropbox, and Jira which makes it easy to focus on work.
What sets Ryver apart from other business instant messaging tools is:
- forums for open discussions with all team members
- simple tasks feature to align on projects
- the ability to organize conversations according to topics.
How to choose the best instant messaging solution for your business
Yes, you have the list of best instant messaging apps right here: but how do you make your decision?
Here are some of the different aspects of these solutions that should guide you in your decision-making.
Did you know that cyberattacks have drastically increased since the abrupt switch to the work-from-home model in 2020?
Your business data is valuable - therefore, business communication solutions should comply with the highest data protection standards. We are talking about end-to-end encryption, multiple-factor authentication, and others.
If your organization operates in a highly regulated industry such as healthcare or education, chances are you’ll want to go beyond the standard security of instant messaging for businesses. In such cases, it’s good to look for open source solutions and tools you can deploy on-premise.
Here are a couple of useful resources to take a look at:
- Most secure messaging apps
- Encrypted messaging apps
- Best open source tools for businesses
- Healthcare communication: best practices
- Benefits of open source solutions in education
➡️Supports various communication methods
Instant messaging for businesses is a quick and easy way for remote coworkers to communicate. However, the app you’re using should support various communication methods for its value to be maximized.
Look for features that go beyond instant messaging: voice messages, video conferencing, sending pictures and documents, and more.
➡️Easy to use
Your instant messaging app needs to be easy to use. Why? Because if it isn’t, your employees and coworkers will resort to other solutions that might not be business-friendly, such as WhatsApp.
Moreover, you want the best possible app user experience. This will increase the adoption of your business instant messaging tool, and make it a standard communication practice in your organization.
➡️Integrations with other tools you use
To drive the adoption of the app, it should be integrated with the apps your employees use on a daily basis. This will decrease app fatigue and also help your employees be more productive.
➡️Going beyond your team
For people that work with external partners and vendors a lot, easy communication routes are essential. Business instant messaging isn’t only about internal company communication: it also extends to communication with cooperating partners.
Therefore, look for an app that can facilitate centralized business communication - no matter who you’re talking to and what communication means they use. For example, a business instant messaging app that includes federation and omnichannel features is a good way to go.
Benefits of instant messaging for businesses
Instant messaging apps for business provide a natural way to communicate since we use instant messaging tools like WhatsApp in our everyday communication. They make communication between colleagues less formal and you get your responses much quicker.
Supporting your dispersed workforce with the right tools
When working remotely or hybridly, remote workers need the right tools to feel connected with their coworkers. Due to their features, business instant messaging apps give them the right way to collaborate, but also to engage in casual conversations and make personal connections.
Remote collaboration is much easier when you use asynchronous messaging and video conferencing interchangeably. Without business instant messaging apps, collaboration would be slower and more ineffective.
Improving employee engagement
When given the right tools to communicate and collaborate, employees will also be more engaged. This also means that they will be more likely to stay in your company.
Also, business instant messaging solutions can be excellent channels to create or reinforce strong company culture - even when remote.
Empower your business communication with a flexible, yet robust instant messaging app
Rocket.Chat is a team collaboration platform that enables you to talk to colleagues, partners, and customers. This communication platform is built with the highest security standards in mind - making it easy to adapt to the needs of organizations in highly regulated industries.
With open source technology running in the background, Rocket.Chat’s instant messaging engine is flexible to fit into the most complex environments. Moreover, you can run it on-premise and have full control over your data.
The fact that you can connect with your team members, external partners, and customers is just the beginning. Rocket.Chat’s features allow you to talk to everybody you need to irrespective of the channel they might be using, whereas you get the benefit of centralized inbox management.
Our team is just a click away waiting to show you how powerful business instant messaging can be. Get in touch with us!
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- Digital sovereignty
- Federation capabilities
- Scalable and white-labeled
- Highly scalable and secure
- Full patient conversation history
- Digital sovereignty
- Trusted by National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the US Army, the US Navy, and the US Air Force
- Matrix federation capabilities
- Open source code
- Highly secure and scalable
- Unmatched flexibility
- End-to-end encryption
- Cloud or on-prem deployment
- Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
- Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
- Highly secure and flexible
- On-prem or cloud deployment