Efficient communication within a business can be challenging. When you have remote workers, that communication becomes even more critical. Business messaging apps help you and your staff keep communication flowing without being cumbersome or distracting during the workday.
The Top 5 Best Business Messaging Apps
- Slack – Best for Overall Versatility
- Microsoft Teams – Best for Large Businesses
- Zoho Cliq – Best for Businesses on a Budget
- Chanty – Best for Time-Saving Capabilities
- Twist – Best for Organization
These business messaging apps are suitable for many different businesses, but some are better for certain situations than others. The following detailed reviews can help you determine which app is best for your business.
Slack — Best For Overall Versatility
- Easily create channels
- Hashtags sort keywords
- Add your own emojis
- Voice and video calls
Slack not only offers the features you need in a quality messaging app, but it also gives you the ability to tailor its performance to your business needs.
Slack works in real time and is accessible on computers, tablets, and iPhone and Android devices. It integrates with other business apps, like Outlook and Gmail, and features a highly user-friendly interface that’s accessible to users with even limited tech experience.
With Slack’s channels, you can create group conversations for specific audiences. You can take these conversations public or keep them private, which is ideal for communicating with specific teams or even with certain team members working on particular projects.
Like most messaging apps, Slack offers the ability to hold both voice and video calls. These one-on-one calls add more versatility to the platform’s group chat capabilities.
There are also plenty of ways to customize Slack. You can add your own emojis to conversations for a unique touch. You can also use hashtags to sort and identify messages, making finding the information you need much easier.
Custom notifications mean you can set alerts for specific keywords, ensuring you never miss a message about an important topic.
Slack’s comprehensive resource library will help new businesses and users quickly learn the ins and outs of the platform.
Slack offers a free plan that includes access to up to 10,000 of the most recent messages, as well as one-on-one voice and video calling capabilities between teammates. Slack also offers a Pro, Business, and Enterprise Grid plan. The Pro plan costs just $6.67 per month, and the Business plan costs $12.50 per month.
The Business plan includes 24/7 support and 99.99% guaranteed uptime, ideal for businesses that heavily rely on their messaging platforms.
Microsoft Teams — Best For Large Businesses
- User-friendly chat
- Video and audio calls
- Unlimited meetings
- Includes 10GB cloud storage
Microsoft Teams is a powerful messaging app that can support even large-scale, international businesses. It’s available in 53 languages and 181 markets, so you can use it to connect with remote staff, clients, freelancers, and more.
With Microsoft Teams, you’ll enjoy unlimited chat capabilities that support as many text or video chats and channel conversations that your business requires. The chat is user-friendly and straightforward and can help to keep both large and small teams connected.
Microsoft Teams also offers excellent meeting functionality, including video calls, audio calls, and virtual meetings to support up to 100 participants. You can schedule an unlimited number of meetings, ideal for even the busiest times.
Microsoft Teams also offers up to 10 GB of cloud storage and 2 GB of personal free cloud storage. That’s all kept secure by data encryption so that you can use this platform with confidence.
When it comes to getting started, Microsoft Teams offers free video training and resources, plus video tutorials that answer common FAQs.
Microsoft Teams offers a free version that includes online meetings, chat, and cloud storage features. Stepping up to the Microsoft 365 Business Basic for $5.00 per user per month includes Office Online and increases the versatility of this platform. The Microsoft 365 Business Standard option is $12.50 per user per month and consists of a full suite of remote work and collaboration tools and premium Office apps.
Zoho Cliq — Best For Businesses on a Budget
- Convenient status dashboard
- Voice and video calls
- Searchable messages
- Virtual whiteboard
Zoho Cliq is versatile, easy to use, and effectively facilitates group and one-on-one communication–and it does all of that for an unbeatable price.
Zoho’s channels make it easy to stay in touch with your team. Those conversations are transparent and searchable, so you can quickly retrieve the information you’re looking for.
Zoho Cliq also supports voice and video calls from any device. You can virtually check in to see who’s working, and the dashboard also identifies who’s in a meeting to better plan your communication. With instant virtual meetings, you can host impromptu calls to connect with staff, check in on progress toward a goal, and more.
Zoho Cliq also features a virtual whiteboard right within the chat window. You can draw layouts and better-visualized processes and plans, and you can then share the whiteboard as an image within the chat. This saves valuable time over opening up another program and uploading a document, making for more transparent and efficient communication.
With this platform, you can also share your screen during calls. This capability can enhance your remote work and conversations for better productivity and clearer communication.
Zoho Cliq integrates with some of the most popular work tools you’re probably already using, like Trello, Mailchimp, and Zendesk. It’s available for iPhone and Android, as well as for Windows, Mac, and Linux, so no matter what device you’re on, you can stay connected.
This platform’s pricing is where it becomes most impressive. Zoho Cliq offers some top-quality features that can save you time and enhance your communication, but it does so incredibly affordably. Its free plan supports unlimited users and includes 100GB of file storage and 10,000 searchable messages.
Upgrading to the paid plan costs just $1 per user per month. It includes 10GB of file storage per user, as well as unlimited searchable messages.
Chanty — Best Time-Saving Capabilities
- Audio, video, and chat
- Share files and screens
- Searchable Teambook
- Add tasks to chats
Chanty supports audio, video, and chat conversations, making it easy to stay connected with your team. It also allows you to share your screen for more efficient communication, ideal for remote teams. Chanty also lets you share your screen, files, or links, keeping conversations concentrated and on-task.
Chanty moves beyond a strict messaging app thanks to its light project management features. It integrates with platforms like Google Drive, Trello, Dropbox, and Github. You can easily turn conversations into tasks, helping to keep your team moving forward toward a goal.
Chanty’s Teambook makes it easy to access all of your team’s activities. The Teambook is searchable, so you can quickly find the information you’re looking for.
When you’re on the go, you can stay connected with Chanty. Messages sync through both the Chanty mobile and web app, and the mobile app is available for iOS and Android.
Chanty is very affordable, with a free-forever plan for up to 10 users. It includes unlimited conversations, searchable history, one-on-one audio calls, and voice messages. The free plan also has task management, 99.9% guaranteed uptime, and more.
At just $3 per month, Chanty’s Business plan adds features like permissions control, unlimited integrations, guest users, video calls, a dedicated support line, and more.
You can view a demo on the Business plan or sign up for the free plan now.
Twist — Best for Organization
- Create your own channels
- Instant messaging option
- Searchable threads
- Distraction-free option
Twist helps keep all of your communication organized for maximum efficiency. It all starts with the platform’s channels. You can design channels that focus on specific topics and make those channels public or private. You’ll know right where to look to find each conversation, based on the topic.
Twist’s threads replace your company’s internal emails. They’re designed for those ongoing discussions with lots of back and forth. They’re also searchable, so you can retrieve them years later on.
Twist also has a messaging function that lets you reach out to any of your teammates or group members. This messaging is a more instant type of conversation, and it keeps these small conversations from clogging up larger threads. Everything stays organized, but communication continues to flow freely.
The platform also helps you to prevent distractions when you need to. You can turn off notifications during certain intervals, like weekends or after hours, so you always receive the most important updates and have time to focus.
Twist offers two plans. The free plan includes access to one month of comments and messages and up to five integrations. It’s suitable for lighter use.
Most businesses will most benefit from the Unlimited plan, which costs $5 per user per month. The Unlimited plan includes your full comment and message history, unlimited integrations and file storage, and priority support.
How to Find The Best Business Messaging App For You
No one business messaging app will be the best fit for every business. Instead, it’s important to consider the most important criteria when determining which app best fits your business needs.
We’ve outlined the criteria we used to choose the best business messaging apps below. These criteria are typically the aspects that are most important to companies. Consider which criteria matter most to your business and how you plan to use the messaging app.
Chat Storage and Capabilities
Chat storage limitations may not be a concern for a smaller business, but as your organization grows, you may need comprehensive chat capabilities during busier times.
Some messaging apps limit the number of chats you can hold or have storage limits, meaning you might not be able to retrieve previous conversations with information you need.
If you do anticipate wanting to store lots of previous chats, consider whether the platform offers the ability to tag, sort, and search through those previous conversations. Storing that information will only be valuable if you also have an easy way to retrieve it when you need it.
While the traditional instant chat or messaging platform is helpful for most businesses, it isn’t always enough. The ability to hold a video or audio chat may help you save time, and it also means you don’t have to jump to a separate video conferencing app when you need to connect with others.
Consider the different chat formats that will be most helpful to your business. If you’re looking for a platform with voice and video chat capabilities, be sure to confirm whether there are restrictions on those types of chats.
Some platforms may limit the number and length of the calls that you’re able to make. Don’t forget to also consider any limitations to the number of callers who can be present on a single call at one time.
Ease of Use
Messaging apps need to be user-friendly, especially if you provide them to freelancers, remote workers, and others. Users should need minimal training, and it’s crucial that you can largely get the platform up and running on your own.
Look for messaging apps designed to be easy to use, rather than one more piece of technology you need to train your staff on. The availability of support documents, video tutorials, and other tools can help to make these apps more user-friendly.
If you start encountering issues with your messaging app, it can significantly restrict your inner-business communication until that issue is resolved. The availability of technical support is an essential asset in these situations.
When considering a new messaging app, look into how much support is available and when that support is available. Most apps limit technical support to standard working business hours, which can be a problem for staff who work off-hours.
Also, many apps don’t include technical support with their free versions, which may be a valid reason to consider upgrading to a paid plan.
The Top Business Messaging Apps in Summary
Slack and Microsoft Teams are the best business messaging apps on the market today. Organizations with unique needs can benefit from the other top picks reviewed in our guide.
The best messaging app for your business should solve any communication issues you’re currently experiencing. Look for an option that’s easy to use, has plenty of storage, and offers helpful tech support.