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Group chat apps aren’t just tools—they’re the modern office. This is obviously true for away teams, but the appeal goes beyond that. Companies that have a shared physical workspace are increasingly relying on workplace chat to get things done.
What Is The Most Popular Chat Room
Part of this is about efficiency. But business communication apps also mean that anyone can decide to participate in, or at least see, relevant conversations, while significantly allowing people to ignore messages that aren’t relevant to them. Slack is a great choice, but there are many Slack alternatives to choose from.
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We’ve reviewed and tested dozens of group chat apps, and here we’ll present our picks for the best group chat apps currently on the market.
All of our best practices are written by people who have spent most of their careers using, testing, and writing their own software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and rating it against the criteria we’ve set for the category. We never charge for placement in our articles on any app or for links to any website – we appreciate the trust readers place in us to provide honest reviews of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full account of how we select applications for the blog.
I’ve been reviewing and writing software since 2009, always working remotely, so I’m very familiar with the ins and outs of team communication software.
Communication is culture dependent and every company is different – that’s why there are so many business chat apps on the market. However, I think some features are universally needed and I kept them in mind when I went through the applications. Best Team Chat Apps:
Best Messaging Apps That Work Without Phone Number For Chatting
Before choosing the ones on this list, I reviewed and tested 35 messaging apps. I filtered out the ones that didn’t meet the above criteria, then created test accounts for the services that did. I invited my friends and colleagues to join me for a conversation, testing how easy it was to be a team member and learning from them what features they did and didn’t understand.
So I shared some files, tested call quality, and explored other features that weren’t immediately apparent. After all this, I have concluded that the chat platforms below offer the best balance of these five criteria. (Note that I’ve only focused on apps designed for real-time communication and decentralized tools that focus primarily on project management.)
Slack launched in 2013 and quickly came to define the office communication space, mostly because people loved using it. It’s not hard to see why – this is an app built with the user in mind.
Each Slack team has a public channel that targets the entire company, but most of the day-to-day chat takes place in channels that are specific to a team or project. Users decide which of these channels they want to be in, meaning they can avoid being inundated with messages about projects that are unrelated to them. This variety goes further: conversations in these channels can be transcribed, and users will only be notified of conversations in threads if they join the conversation or actively decide to subscribe. Team members can tag other users to place them in channels or topics, which helps balance the need to reduce noise and the need to see important conversations.
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Slack also makes it easy for users to find answers using search. You can easily filter by channel, user, date and more. Collaboration is another key importance. Quickly share files by clicking and dragging them to an app or link. Most links will open, meaning things like photos and videos can be reviewed without leaving the app. Small features, like emoji reactions, make it easy to respond to messages in a meaningful way with just a few clicks. Video and audio calls can be started with one click, and there are even audio “transitions” that people can drop in and out of for audio co-working. Slack also offers thousands of integrations with other apps. All these little touches may seem overwhelming, but the smart design (with friendly text in every corner of the app) means that Slack rarely feels cluttered or overwhelming.
Perhaps Slack’s biggest drawback is its price, especially since it’s not part of a larger software package. For teams serious about workplace communication, however, Slack offers more than enough value to be worthwhile.
You can do more with Slack by connecting it to your favorite apps. You can create automated tasks to notify you when a calendar event starts, automatically add recorded Slack messages to your to-do list, and more.
Reduced prices: Free for unlimited users, 1 to 1 calls within your team and 10,000 message history; $8/user/month (when paid monthly) paid plans for unlimited dating, screen sharing, meetings and group video calls.
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Microsoft Teams is when an organization chart becomes a group communication application. How much you will like it is directly related to how much you liked the previous sentence.
Each Microsoft Teams account is associated with a single organization, sometimes called an org, that represents the entire company. Users are invited to one or more teams within a company and each team is divided into channels. Conversations in these channels are forced into topics, taking IM to another level. It’s the most organized of any group chat app we’ve tested, and while it may seem a little confusing, the result is ultimately clean.
Video and audio calls are of great importance. Users can schedule meetings, complete with an agenda, or join spontaneous calls. There are also extensive collaboration features, including tight integration with the Microsoft Office suite for collaboration on documents, calendar appointments, and notes.
The main disadvantage of Teams is the amount of work they have to do. If you don’t have a dedicated IT staff, setting it up will be complicated, especially if you’re trying to install the free version. Depending on the size of the organizations that Teams is designed for, however, that’s probably not a big deal, especially if your team already uses a bunch of Microsoft apps.
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When you connect Teams to your other apps using , you can track invoices in Teams when they’re due, get instant visibility of new leads and automatically send them to a channel as they arrive, and more.
Microsoft Teams Pricing: Includes Microsoft 365 Business Basic and up for Sharepoint, OneDrive, cloud versions of all Office apps, and Microsoft Teams communication for $6/user/month (when paid annually).
Forgive me if you didn’t know that Google offered you a group chat app – it’s not common knowledge. Even so, Google Chat is worth looking into, especially if your organization already uses Google Workspace.
Google Chat, formerly known as Google Hangouts Chat, divides conversations into rooms, similar to Slack channels. Conversations are forced into topics, which helps organize things. Your business can add as many rooms as it wants, and users can easily log in and out of rooms.
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Where Chat really shines, however, is through integrations with Google’s ecosystem of apps. Linking a Google Doc automatically changes permissions, so anyone in the room can open it. You can quickly set up a meeting with any friend, tag your colleague on Google Meet, and say when the meeting should take place – this creates a calendar appointment with a link to Google Meet for video conferencing. Each room has a task list, linked to Google Tasks. Search is also a strong point, which, given that this is a Google product, may not be a surprise. Results are displayed in real time as you type, and there are a variety of filter options.
Google Chat’s weakness may be polish. Some seemingly simple things, like scrolling through a list of public rooms to join, are hidden behind multiple clicks for reasons unknown to me. Using chat will take some getting used to. But it’s a solid option, and if your business already pays for Google Workspace, it’s essentially free.
You can turn your chat app into a work center by using Google Chat integration with other apps you use the most. Get notifications on the right channel before important events,
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