Best Team Chat Apps

The Top Team Chat Apps to Drive Your Business

February 27, 2020   Instant Messaging

Effective communication in the workplace is vital. As the nature of work features more distributed teams, remote workers, and freelancers, effective communication in the workplace is becoming more difficult to achieve.

As poor communication costs add up to more than $37 billion, there’s no magic formula to improve communication. But there are steps to help you boost internal team communication and cross-team functionality.

For starters, choose the right vehicle for communication. For instance, instant messaging,
plays an important role in ensuring your communication is transmitted securely and efficiently.

Sounds straightforward. But is it the case at work? In the workplace, a team chat app is a more secure way to communicate. Team chat offers myriad benefits that standard, consumer-grade instant messaging can’t match.

The Top Team Chat Apps to Drive Your Business Click To Tweet

What’s the difference? Below, we’ll make the critical distinction between team chat and instant messaging, including why you should use a team chat app in the workplace. Finally, we’ll introduce you to the best team chat apps to secure your messaging and drive your business.

Let’s get to it!

Team Chat vs. Instant Messaging

Instant messaging vs Team Chat

Team chat and instant messaging are practically the same, right? Not quite. But you’d be forgiven for thinking so. Allow us to explain.

On the face of it, team chat looks a lot like instant messaging. After all, team chat platforms utilize the same core tech underpinning today’s widely-used instant messengers. Both team chat and instant messaging allow for the exchange of real-time text, audio, and video communication via a proprietary software platform. Both facilitate better communication between people.

Dig a little deeper, though, and you uncover some key differences. While instant messengers facilitate easy and affordable real-time communication in our private lives, team chat ensures communication and teamwork, albeit in the workplace.

What’s more, tools for effective team collaboration, enhanced attention to privacy and data security, and comprehensive administrative options make team chat apps the wise choice for your workplace communication and teamwork.

1. Effective team collaboration

Delivering timely and meaningful results takes a team effort. It’s also getting harder to achieve.
As working from home or other satellite locations becomes more and more routine, it also leaves many remote workers feeling neglected or left out. Team chat helps you engage.

Screen-sharing, screenshots, remote desktop control, virtual whiteboards, and file transfers drive team collaboration. What’s more, pairing collaboration tools with real-time text, audio, and video increases efficiency and engagement more than other means of communication.

2. Comprehensive network administration

The best team chat apps provide richer administration features to create custom levels of control, productivity, and security. You can manage contacts and control who can chat with whom and the features to which users have access, for example.

Setting multiple administrators and specific data security levels are just a few more ways in which you can customize the network and user experience.

3. Attention to privacy and data security

While no piece of tech is ever completely immune to those who wish to exploit it, team chat takes greater strides than instant messaging to secure your privacy and data.

Some free instant messengers feature targeted ads and are owned by companies with track records of nefarious practices with regard to your privacy and data.

Team chats, like Brosix, take a more holistic approach to security and privacy. For starters, a Brosix private team network ensures only authorized users access the network. End-to-end encryption and data compression, peer-to-peer communication channels, and anti-virus and malware integration further ensure all communication and collaboration on the network is private and secure from outside threats.

Try Brosix today and ensure your data security, privacy, and peace of mind.

Why Use a Team Chat App

The market for collaboration software is booming. In fact, spending in 2019 was predicted to top $45 billion globally, with team chat apps netting the biggest gains.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. The best team chat apps offer tons of benefits. For starters, a team chat app engages your team
more than email or other communication methods. And that’s important as the nature of work changes to feature more remote workers, distributed teams and freelancers.

Why else should you use a team chat app? Explore some of the biggest benefits below!

Improve Communication

If there’s one single job your team chat app should do well, it’s communication. Today’s team chat platforms provide multiple channels to improve communication. One-on-one texting, group chat rooms, and audio and video calls have you covered whether you need a quick answer on the fly or something more personal.

Provide Governance

With free, consumer-grade instant messengers, there’s no control of the platform. Employees can easily mix personal and business communication, leading to distractions, time-wasting, mistakes, and even security risks.

Team chat apps, on the other hand, provide a platform that’s manageable and customizable. Administrators can group users as they see fit, control who can chat with whom, and regulate on a user basis features and tools, ensuring a secure and productive work environment.

Increase Efficiency

There are many ways to improve your efficiency at work. Simple things like making a to-do list or disconnecting from social media go a long way towards helping you work smarter.

So do team chat apps. Pairing communication and collaboration tools leads to less switching back and forth between apps and platforms and, as a result, less unproductive multitasking. Mobile apps, meanwhile, inspire communication and collaboration whether you’re working from home, the field, your commute or just a few doors down.

Ensure compliance and record-keeping

For truly efficient and thorough record-keeping and compliance, use team chat. Chat histories allow team members to review their conversations. A simple keyword search or a search by date helps to easily recall details and information, saving time and, ultimately, frustration.

Furthermore, Comprehensive chat history archives ensure compliance with an ever-growing list of regulations that mandate electronic record keeping.

Save Money

Employing multiple software applications is costly, especially for startups and small businesses. Team chat in the workplace can reduce operating costs, by helping you consolidate in one platform multiple costly software apps, phone plans, security, and more.

Strengthen Team Relationships

When employees have friends at work, their job is more enjoyable and worthwhile. While team chat shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for in-person communication, employ a group chat for sharing team victories, birthday or anniversary wishes, or funny GIFs and memes. Check in regularly with remote teams via video calls and have remote coffee or lunch breaks.

Boost Productivity

If you were to list the biggest workplace productivity killers, what would they be? Lack of delegation? Unproductive meetings? Inefficient communication channels?

Team chat apps can help you tackle all of that. Set multiple administrators and effectively delegate admin duties, streamline remote meetings by establishing pre and post-meeting communication channels, and manage productivity through administrative features.

Transform Business Meetings

Meetings probably aren’t the first word that comes to mind when you think of productivity. But the best team chat apps can transform your business meetings.

Before the meeting, thoroughly define the meeting scope. During the meeting, know when and how to employ which channel of communication. Employ collaboration tools like whiteboard conferences or screen-sharing sessions to drive the engagement factor.

The Top Team Chat Apps for 2020

The best team chat apps should fuel your team communication and take teamwork to the next level. Now that you’re familiar with team chat and its many benefits, it’s time to discover the best apps to drive your business in 2020.

Read on to find out about 11 of the top solutions today.

Brosix

Brosix screens

With so many chat platforms available to you today, let’s start with what we know – Brosix is a highly capable, secure and customizable team chat app.

Brosix’s instant messaging features facilitate effortless communication. Text chats for one-on-one messaging, group chat rooms, broadcast messages, and audio and video calling ensure seamless real-time communication in any situation.

With Brosix you get so much more than chat. A rich set of features boosts teamwork while ensuring productivity. A virtual whiteboard, screen-sharing, instant screenshot, and file transfers ensure dynamic collaboration is never more than a click away.

Better yet, everything takes place on a self-hosted, fully encrypted private team network providing full control over the platform.

It all makes Brosix one of the best chat team chat apps to secure your messaging and drive your business. Try it today!

Top Brosix features:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Peer-to-peer communication channels
  • User authorization
  • Control over contacts, who can chat with whom and the features to which users have access
  • The ability to set multiple administrators and specific user data security levels
  • Unlimited size file transfers
  • Whiteboard conferences
  • Broadcast messages to share important news to all or targeted audiences

Pricing: $4 per user/month for Business; $6 per user/month Premium. Startup gets you communication and modest enterprise control for free.

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, and Web

Flock

Flock App

Based in India, Flock has positioned itself as a rival to Slack. Flock has even set up a North American headquarters to challenge the team chat giant.

Flock gives you the core capabilities you’d expect of a team chat app – direct and group messaging, voice and video calls, alerts and notifications. Chat channels featuring threaded replies can be set up to be both private and public.

Keep in mind, Flock’s freemium version caps storage, public channels and searchable message histories to 10K messages. If Flock isn’t for you, check out these alternatives.

Top Flock features:

  • Integrate with 60+ apps like Google Drive, Trello, and Dropbox
  • Built-in task management and the ability to convert discussions to tasks
  • Create polls, shared to-dos and auto-generated mailing lists
  • Invite guests onto the platform

Flock Pricing: Paid plans start at $4.50 per seat and get you screen sharing, unlimited messaging history, and 10GB storage per user.

Available on: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Web

Troop Messenger

Troop Messenger

Troop believes team chat shouldn’t break the bank.

For just a buck a month, the team chat app gets you one-to-one messaging, group chats, file sharing, and voice and video calling. Those willing to pay a bit more can get message-flagging capabilities, burnout chats, data usage analytics and the option to self-host.

Collaboration tools are basically limited to screen-sharing, though.

Top Troop features:

  • Flag important conversations and retrieve them through a flag filter
  • Self-destructing burnout chats
  • Unlimited messaging history
  • The ability to invite outsiders to the platform

Troop Pricing: Paid plans start at $1 per user/month. Enterprise and self-hosting plans start at $5 per user/month.

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux

Discord

discord

Imagine a walkie-talkie, gaming chat, and team chat app all rolled into one. That’s Discord. It’s a totally different take on team chat.

With Discord, voice communication is front and center. Voice chat is always on in the background and clicking a channel immediately initiates communication with other users, which you can mute through the push-to-talk feature.

Text-based communication happens on a separate channel or ‘server.’ You also get screen-sharing and file sharing.

Keep in mind that Discord is first and foremost a platform for gamers. That’s raised questions around the platform’s security and fitness as a team chat solution.

For a deeper dive into Discord, have a look at our recent review!

Top Discord features:

  • Assign roles and permissions to any member of a channel
  • Push-to-talk capabilities
  • Multiple workspaces on a single interface
  • Integration with YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and more

Discord Pricing: Discord’s freemium version offers core functionality; Nitro Plans from $9.99/month.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Web

Slack

Slack

Of all the team chat apps, Slack is the one you’re probably most familiar with. It’s a team chat Goliath.

Slack organizes conversations by direct messages and threaded, public and private chat channels. You can share, pin, edit, delete, and even react to messages. Slack also features bots to remind you of messages, tasks, and more.

If there’s a single defining aspect of Slack, it’s integrations. Slack boasts more than 1,500 integrations to help you maximize workflows and processes.

That also means that many Slack capabilities are a result of other apps and technologies. Not only are there security risks to consider, but questions over Slack’s handling of user data.

If Slack isn’t the team chat app for you, explore these other worthy Slack alternatives!

Top Slack features:

  • More than 1,500 integrations
  • Keyword notifications
  • Customizable themes and sidebar
  • RSS feed capabilities

Slack Pricing: A freemium plan limits you to a 10K message history and 10 integrations; Standard plans from $6.67 per user/month; Plus from $12.50 per user/month.

Available on: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Web

Microsoft Teams

Teams by Microsoft
If you’re holding a Microsoft Business Essentials or Premium plan, Microsoft Teams probably isn’t all that new to you.

As a team chat app, Teams is geared toward document sharing and meetings. Whenever you have a meeting, Teams creates a new chat space for that meeting featuring video, screen-sharing, and the ability to log each discussion.

On the chat side of things, Teams organizes conversations into ‘Teams’ in which you invite each relevant participant. You get threaded messages and even rich text editing which allows you to compose long-form email-like messages complete with an importance indicator.

Teams, however, is notoriously difficult to deploy. Plus, you’ll need a Microsoft account just to access Teams – putting it squarely out of reach for many small teams and startups.

Top Teams features:

  • Word-like formatting lets you change font styles, create lists, and more in each message
  • Office 365 integration lets you access, edit, and share any Office or One Drive document without leaving Teams
  • AI-powered onboarding and search functionalities

Teams Pricing: Essentials from $5 per user/month; Premium from $12.50 per user/month. A limited freemium version aims to push you toward a Microsoft subscription.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web

Facebook Workplace

Workplace by Facebook

With more than 2 billion Facebook users and its own instant messenger, it was a matter of time until the social media giant took on team chat apps.

The workplace is Facebook’s answer to team communication and collaboration. With Workplace, team chat feels familiar. That’s because you get a news feed, personal pages, posts, comments, and likes.

Chat happens in direct messages, private or public chats, and Groups – for unified chat and collaboration. You also get voice and video calls, IT monitoring tools, admin controls, and some limited integrations.

If there’s a drawback, it’s Facebook’s lengthy history of dishonest practices with user data and information – something we mentioned when we compared Workplace to Slack.

Top Workplace features:

  • Facebook-familiar communication and collaboration
  • Live-streaming
  • The ability to invite outsiders to the platform

Workplace pricing: Workplace Advanced from $4 per user/month; Enterprise from $8 per user/month.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web

Chanty

chanty

Hitting the market in 2018, Chanty is a newcomer to the arena of team chat. Geared toward small and medium-sized enterprises, the AI-powered team chat app has quickly moved up the ranks.

Chanty delivers core communication through one-to-one messages, threaded public and private channels, and voice and video calling. You also get file sharing, screen-sharing, an unlimited searchable message history, and a hub to neatly organize tasks and conversations.

Top Chanty features:

  • AI-powered search and suggestions
  • Teambook organizes tasks, messages, links, and files
  • Message and task tracking
  • Automated workflows through integrations with Trello and Mailchimp

Chanty Pricing: Paid plans from $3 per user/month. Free plans are limited to 10 users on a team.

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Web

Ryver

ryver app

If you were to combine team chat and task management you’d have Ryver.

On Ryver, communication takes place in direct messages, private groups, and open forums. All of it can then be turned into tasks and managed on a Kanban board. There’s also screen-sharing, voice and video calls, and unlimited integrations through Zapier.

Keep in mind, if your team relies heavily on integrations through Zapier, you’ll need to ante up. At $250 for 50K tasks – Zapier plans don’t come cheap.

Top Ryver features:

  • Set Reminders remind you to follow up on messages
  • Select messages and add subjects and formatted, long-form content
  • Chat, task management and automated workflows on one platform
  • Social media, news, and RSS-feed streaming

Ryver Pricing: There’s a 14-day free trial. Plans from $49 per month for up to twelve users, $99 per month for unlimited users, and $399 for enterprises.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web

Twist

It’s easy to miss details when you’re working across time zones. If you’re just waking up while your teammates are calling it a day, you’re left playing catch-up.

To help you find what you’ve missed and keep the chat focused, Twist turns every chat into a thread. You either have to comment on an existing thread or start a new one. You also get direct messaging, highly customizable notifications, and browseable and searchable messaging histories. Twist also offers a handful of integrations.

Twist doesn’t offer voice or video. Consider Brosix if you need audio or video! Brosix’s seamless audio and video calls are never more than a click away from team chat and collaboration.

Top Twist features:

  • Integration with Todoist, one of our top apps for organization
  • All your messages in an inbox
  • Messaging previewing
  • Invite guests like freelancers and consultants

Twist Pricing: From $6 per user/month for unlimited message history, file storage, and integrations. Free with unlimited users including 1-month message history and 5 integrations.

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows

Trillian:

Trillian is a no-frills team chat app geared toward businesses and healthcare professionals.

Trillian’s bare-bones approach to messaging means you won’t get voice or video calls. And there are no collaboration tools. What you get is easy-to-use instant messaging, group chats, and file and image sharing. Trillian also offers the option to either self-host or communicate behind Trillian servers.

Branding itself as a HIPAA-compliant messenger, Trillian targets the healthcare industry and even plans to roll out client-practitioner messaging.

Top Trillian features:

  • The option to self-host
  • Numerous in-messaging text formatting options.
  • Centralized administration and features control
  • SMS texting capabilities

Trillian pricing: Business Plans from $3.99 per user/month; Enterprise from $7.99 per user/month.

Available on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS

Which Team Chat App Should You Choose?

There you have it – the best team chat apps to drive your business!

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With so many apps on the market, each packed with benefits, choosing the right solution is no easy feat. For starters, consider

  • Your team’s size, chat habits and preferences
  • The app’s attention to privacy and data security
  • The features – Not all team chat apps feature audio, video, or collaboration tools
  • The price – Costly integration packages and add-ons for storage and searchable message histories can quickly skyrocket the price
  • The admin tools at your disposal – Will you have full control over users and chat spaces?

Can’t make up your mind? Try Brosix! Brosix is a highly capable, secure and customizable team chat app to secure your messaging and drive your business.