The Best Business Messaging Apps for 2022
Business messaging apps allows your team to communicate, share files and schedule tasks. Learn about the top business messaging apps for 2021.
Whether you run a small business with a few employees or work in a larger corporation, communication is key. Thanks to digital innovations, it is much easier to communicate with a larger number of employees without gathering everyone into a meeting. The majority of businesses rely on messaging apps for communication. While messaging apps were always popular, they became vital for many businesses in 2020. This is because the Coronavirus caused many businesses to close physical locations, with employees working remotely from home.
There are many different messaging apps to choose from. Which app you use depends on your business needs. Some of the biggest factors to consider are how easy it is to use the app, the price, compatibility and additional perks. Organization is also an important factor, with the majority of business-based apps allowing you to create multiple channels for different employee groups. This ensures everyone has access to the information they need without being overwhelmed with messages from another project.
Choosing the Right App
Businesses are strongly encouraged to use a single messaging app. Using multiple apps gets confusing, especially since most apps are not compatible with one another. It also becomes a hassle if employees must learn multiple apps. Ideally, you can find a messaging app with extra features to help with your business.
For many businesses, a key feature of a messaging app is the ability to upload and share files across multiple accounts. Some apps include cloud storage as one of the benefits. Others allow you to integrate your email account onto the app, so you can send and receive files to other users. If your employees commonly switch tasks or projects, try to find an app with a tagging system. A tagging system allows you to quickly swap out who receives messages relating to a specific topic. This is also a good system if there is overlap in your projects, keeping you from having to send the same message across multiple channels.
Part of staying organized means having a strong search system. When you tag a conversation, you can filter out messages based on tags. This is helpful if a new member is added to a group and wants to see what was previously discussed.
Another helpful feature for business messaging apps is screen sharing. Some messaging apps offer basic sharing, allowing other users to see what you are doing. Advanced apps go further, letting members remotely take control of your computer or phone.
Some business apps include task management options. These are advanced scheduling options, allowing you to create multiple tasks for both groups and individuals. There are also options for other members or supervisors to leave notes or indicate when a completed project has been reviewed.
Slack first launched in 2013 and quickly became the standard of business messaging apps. One of the reasons Slack continues to be a popular messaging app is simplicity. The app manages to include several advanced features without cluttering the UI. It was also one of the first messaging apps with a robust tagging system and the ability to host multiple channels. Once you join a channel, you can create additional threads, which act as subchannels.
Slack also includes multiple filters, allowing you to search by tags, users, and date across individual channels or a group of threads. You can easily share files by drag and dropping the files in the app. Slack is also compatible with thousands of other apps, making it easy to integrate into your business. Slack is commonly paired with Zapier, which allows you to create and schedule calendar events.
Users can download a limited version of the app for free to try it out. The free version provides access to 10,000 messages, one-on-one voice and video calls and integrated with both Google Drive and Microsoft Office. A pro account costs $6.67 a month and provides support for 15 users. This is popular option for small businesses. If you have more employees, you can upgrade to a business account for $12.50 a month. There is also an advanced option for larger businesses, but you must contact Slack directly to get a quote.
Proof Hub is one of the newest messaging apps, but it is becoming popular among small businesses. As of writing, there are two different accounts available. Both of the accounts allow for an unlimited number of users. The basic account provides 15 GB of storage and allows you to host 40 projects at a time. It includes the ability to make and share charts, proof and approve files and set up task management. There are also built-in options for time tracking. Managers can share project templates with other users in their group.
The ultimate package increases the storage to 100 GB and allows you to host unlimited projects. You also have more advanced tagging options and can assign custom roles to each account. The ultimate package also includes priority tech support. The basic package costs $45 a month, while the ultimate package is $89 each month. Neither of the accounts has a contract, allowing you to freely cancel at any time.
Google Chat, formally known as Google Hangouts, is a basic messaging app. There are options to create individual threads and channels, which helps with organization. The biggest advantage of Google Chat is integration with other Google services. Google Chat seamlessly integrates with Google’s storage and document system, allowing you to easily share information among users. You can also use Google Meet to schedule appointments and share a calendar. Google Chat also has one of the quickest search programs, allowing you to filter based on a number of criteria. It is also one of the most accessible apps, since so many employees already have Google accounts.
The basic program is free and works fairly well for small businesses. You can purchase a business account, which costs $12 a month. This provides a significant storage upgrade of 2 TB and the ability to host meetings with up to 150 participants. For larger businesses, you can upgrade to an Enterprise plan, which offers even more storage and video conferencing options.
If you are concerned about digital security, Mattermost is an excellent messaging app. Mattermost is an open-source app. This means you can install the app directly onto your company server without worrying about a third party managing your data. Mattermost allows you to create multiple channels. While there are options to also create individual threads, information posted in the threads is also highlighted in the channels, which can initially be confusing.
The app is free to download and run on your own. If you are not confident in your ability to manage the app, you can purchase a user plan for $3.25 a month. There is also an advanced package for $8.50 a month, which includes integration with Microsoft Office.