15 Best Instant Messaging Software/Apps for Business in 2021


The global pandemic has in a lot many ways changed the world. As most businesses turned completely online with work from home and people quickly adapted to Digital ways. With this paradigm shift in the ways of doing business, communication was the most affected. Instant messaging software which was used only for personal purposes turned out to be of great help.

While many already switched to these apps and software, others opted for newer Instant messaging apps strictly for business. If you still haven’t switched to an Instant messaging software and app, or you couldn’t decide then this article is for you

Instant Messaging software and business

Either you’re working in an office or from home, excellent communication is a prerequisite for a successful business. Instant messaging apps and Softwares is exactly the thing which you can call an excellent communication medium. These apps allow the real-time exchange of information using the internet. Instant messaging got popular in 1997 and has come a long way from personal use to business use. 

Earlier these apps allowed sending only texts and symbols. Wide usage and popularity lead to the development of better Instant and the addition of the feature. Now you can send pictures, videos, small files, documents, and even links over these instant messaging software. Ideally used for personal use some instant messaging software offers extra features for business purposes. In almost all these software you can make groups with your colleagues and share information with multiple persons at once.

Advantages of instant messaging software over traditional means 

Instant messaging software quickly took over once-popular emails as the primary means of business communication. Nowadays many tech giants have their own software for work-related discussions. If you have a new business or a developing one these instant messaging software can effectively cut cost and time. Some software and apps also provide video and voice calling and sending voice notes for an office-like experience. 

Every business requires an exchange of documents. Writing emails and attaching documents every time you have to send them is no doubt troublesome. Imagine sharing documents like that to 100+ people in your workgroup, a nightmare isn’t it? With Instant messaging software, this nightmare turns into just another dream made possible with efforts. By making groups, talk real-time with all your colleagues, and share documents in just a few taps. 

Features to look for in an ideal Instant messaging software for business

File sharing is provided by almost every instant messaging software and so one with more supported formats should be preferred. Security is the key factor in any business and so the software should have convincing privacy policies. As now my apps and software allow money transfer on security becomes even more important. Instant messaging software should be easily accessible, navigable, with less data consumption and fast processing. 

With so many apps and software available on the internet choosing the best can be time-consuming. So keeping the above requirements in minds, and your needs here are 15 Instant messaging software and apps for business use :

Best Instant Messaging Software/Apps

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp

This instant messaging has an incredibly huge number of users making up to two billion. One-fourth of the world’s population. This app was bought by Facebook inc. in 2014 and rapidly gained users and popularity. 

Whatsapp also comes with desktop software which runs only when synchronized with WhatsApp in smartphone phones. Whatsapp also has a standalone app for a business named Whatsapp business for small and medium businesses. You can also make audio and video calls with up to 8 participants.

To use the app you are required to verify your contact number through OTP sent by WhatsApp on your number. You can add a profile photo, a small about in your profile. This profile helps people get an idea of your availability of service. The number you wish to use for business is displayed below your profile, which lets people reach when urgent.

The app uses end-to-end encryption which means every exchange stays between sender and receiver. This feature ensures the utmost security and allows you to send money using the latest WhatsApp payments. You can send audio, video, pdf, word documents, links, live location, and even software within 16 MB size. You can create unlimited groups with 250 contacts. 

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Ideal for both personal and business use
  • Secure text, file, and money transfer
  • Supports multiple file formats 

Cons: 

  • Limited video call participants
  • Limited file size for sharing
  • No screencast or sharing available

Price 

  1. Free

2. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger

Originally developed in 2008 this instant messaging app was revamped and released for iOS and android in 2011. With subsequent updates, this app gained popularity and currently has 1.3 billion users worldwide. Later a dedicated website was released, basically for Windows users from where apps can also be downloaded.

Instant messaging sites allow messenger calls, both voice, and video. This year in April 2020 Facebook released a standalone desktop software for windows.

You can share photos, videos, files, and links on this instant messaging software. It is secure and has an option end-to-end user messaging option. Made available by the same company as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. To use the app it is recommended to make a Facebook account which requires an email for signup and login. 

Using Facebook messenger has a two-fold advantage to business persons. Making a Facebook account would help promote business along with communication. Its video chat room features allow video calls with 50 people simultaneously without a Facebook account. This android app can also manage your SMS on the linked number. You can make groups with 250 members and share files, voice notes, etc. This instant messaging software and app are ideal for business use.

Pros: 

  • Group calls with 50 participants
  • Standalone software for windows
  • Comes with Facebook, a widely used social media app

Cons

  • Fewer file formats supported 
  • Requires little extra hardware 

Price: 

  1. Free

3. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

This instant messaging software is primarily a proprietary business communication platform. It comes with three usage options that are education, work, and personal. This software is new and was released in 2017. It is widely used for education and business purposes. It allows instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, etc.

Every user gets 1 TB of online storage and can record video conferences. The app has a user-friendly interface making it easily navigable and usable for non-it persons. It is available for both Android and Windows and can be downloaded from the play store or windows store. It can also be used and downloaded from the Microsoft team’s official site.

To use this instant messaging software you require a Microsoft or Gmail account. The app allows scheduling and collaboration. You can schedule meetings, share documents, and receive team reviews using Microsoft forums. This instant messaging software allows 250 users to simultaneously attend a video conference.

You can create channels for different topics of discussion and effectively organize the Teams app. You can create companies and projects on the app with unlimited participants. Ideal for business it fulfills every requirement from multiple supported apps, large video call limit, texting, and file sharing. Premium is also available with little extra features and enhancements.

Pros:

  • Large video call limit
  • 1TB online storage
  • Multiple file formats supported
  • Available with a free plan

Cons:

  • No indexing of files, making file search difficult 

Price: 

  1. Free version with Ideal features for Business
  2. 5$/Month for premium

4. Slack

Slack

It falls in the same category as that of Microsoft teams but with its own unique features. The instant messaging software was developed in 2013 and since then has gained a large number of users. Almost 700,000 companies use Slack for online communication and file sharing.

This software is convenient, reliable, and is trusted by millions. Slack allows instant messaging, file transfer, and has many integrated apps. It is available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. It was developed for organizational and professional use.

You can create teams in Slack which allows groups of people to join the workspace and work in coordination. Within teams, you can create channels to communicate with channels for both private and public use. You can direct messages to nine people in the software and can later change direct message groups into channels.

You can hold video or voice meetings over slack while simultaneously sending messages. This instant messaging software allows screen sharing which is a business necessity.

Screen sharing makes explaining and giving a presentation easy and smooth. Slack takes care of your data with encryption at all times with tools like audit logs. It has a free subscription plan with basic and three paid plans with extra features.

Pros:

  • Up to 10,000 message access
  • Multiple app integrations
  • Secure and organized

Cons: 

  • Only two persons can join a video call in the free plan

Price: 

  1. Free Plan
  2. Standard plan at 2.67$/Month
  3. Plus plan at 5$/Month
  4. Enterprise grid plan at variable price

5. Flock 

Flock

This instant messaging software is used mostly for collaboration work hence is ideal for business use. It was founded in 2014 and since then has steadily gained users. There are 6-7 million flock users as of now. The app allows messaging and configuration of external apps along with integration from the Flock app store.

The Flock app store makes common apps available for use like google drive, Trello, Github, etc. If you’re a developer new in business this can be of help to you. You can publish your apps built on the Flock App store which are built on Flock OS

Instant messaging software allows video conferencing, screen and file sharing, direct messaging, and unlimited chat history. With this software, you can create teams with groups of peoples to allow organized working. In these teams, you can create public and private channels depending on the need.

Public channels allow everyone to join and is a great way to promote your business. Public channels allow interested people to reach to you and talk to you about your services.

While private channels are used for discussing within company members. It has three subscription plans, each with varying features with the free one having the most basic.

Pros: 

  • Free plan with necessary features 
  • App store for integrated apps
  • User-friendly interface
  • 5 GB free storage

Cons

  • Only 20 members allowed in video conferencing 

Price: 

  • Free plan with 5GB storage and 1-1 video calling
  • Pro at 2.69$/Month with group calls and 10 GB for each member

6. Mattermost

Mattermost

This instant messaging software is an open-source self-hosting online chat service. Mattermost allows file sharing, integrations, and search features for finding files. It is designed for internal chat and is ideally made for organizational use. It has desktop clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The software is also available for Android and iOS.

This instant messaging software is a great alternative to other paid software. It provides almost the same features as other popular instant messaging software for free. Users can download windows client from the web browser, Android client from the play store, and for ios from the Apple app store. 

You can share files, have real-time discussions, and make group video calls. Users can also share your screen for presentation. Multiple people can join a video conference simultaneously and have a smooth video calling experience. The app uses TLS security protocol which ensures secure exchange of files and information.

It allows encryption both at transit and rest. Mattermost cloud enterprise is secure and provides resources required to run this instant messaging software. Though most of its features are available for free, Mattermost also provides premium subscriptions. With a premium subscription, you get extra users, unlimited app integrations, etc.

Pros

  • Most features available for free
  • Multiple app integrations available
  • Secure with simple user-interface

Cons

  • The limited user of 10 in the number allowed with a free plan
  • No push notification with the free version

Price: 

  1. Cloud free available for free
  2. Cloud professional at $10/Month
  3. Enterprise with custom pricing

7. Chanty

Chanty

This instant messaging software is used for collaboration and organized work. It has a lot to offer on its client apps and software for desktops and smartphones. It is available for Windows, iOS, and Mac and can be downloaded from respective app stores. Instant messaging software has large and important app integrations.

You can also download or use it on a web browser. The instant messaging app has a simple and easily navigable design. It is ideal for business with its organized task, conversation, and messaging features. 

With tasks, you can keep your workgroup and yourself productive. You can share links and multiple content like codes and social media content. It promotes openness within the business for seeking ideas from different sources. This instant messaging software allows mention by using @ and can pin important messages.

By changing views you can effectively set due dates and control the status and priority of tasks. You can control access with this instant messaging software by setting permissions. You can avoid confusion and cluttering by suspending and promoting members allowing them certain access.

Users can make high-quality video and voice calls with multiple group members simultaneously and share voice messages. With this software, you can boost your business using useful features. 

Pros

  • Free plan available with most features 
  • Organized and secure
  • Simple to use 

Cons

  • Limited 20 GB storage and 10 users with a free plan.
  • No individual video calling available

Price: 

  1. Free plan with 20 GB storage per team
  2. 3$ per months with 20 GB of Storage for each member

8. Wrike

Wrike

This instant messaging software provides project management and collaboration. It was founded in 2006 and has switched from initial self-funding to investor funding.

It is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Instant messaging software allows project management with scheduling features, setting up due dates, managing assignments, and work time-efficiently.

The project management feature in this instant messaging software comes with charts and tables for keeping records. It promotes organized working on the app and to get the best out of teamwork.

The software has features for communication and internal file sharing by attaching documents. You can co-edit a document, have real-time discussions, and make changes. It has an inbox feature and pushes notifications to keep you updated with changes done when you’re not using the software. Wrike also has an optional feature for managing market workflows.

 It comes with a free subscription plan that allows five members in each team. Wrike has multiple app integrations with apps like google drive, Adobe, Microsoft teams, etc. With TES and AES encryption, role-based access, regular security patch updates, user authentication, and data backup. It has excellent security which makes it ideal for small, medium businesses.

Pros

  • Free plan with 5 users per team
  • Extra Security and simple use
  • Free 2 GB storage space

Cons:

  • Free plan not preferable for medium business
  • Limited app integration 

Price: 

  1. Free plan at 0$/Month
  2. Professional plan up to 15 users at 9.80$ a month
  3. Business plan for max 200 users at 24.80$ a month

9. Ryver

Ryver

This instant messaging software is everything that one may need for business communication. Ryver provides client apps and software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. The app provides unlimited chat, file sharing, and easy searching within conversations. The software allows easy management and organized working.

You can make high-quality unlimited calls both voice and video. Up to 5 users can join a call and share a screen to present and have a real-time discussion. The software ensures security with advanced login options. You get premium support from Ryver during business hours.

This instant messaging software allows multiple file-formats and has a variety of integrated apps. You can create unlimited teams and tasks. Regular tasks keep productivity up along with checklists and assessments. It is available at three pricing with added features in each.

The most basic starter pack has unlimited calling, 12 users, unlimited chats, and file sharing. The unlimited pack comes with unlimited users and custom invite links to help easy joining. The last pack, enterprise, has all the features of the earlier two packS with advance management, SSO, and premium support.

Pros:

  • Unlimited Voice and video calls
  • Unlimited file sharing
  • Fast and secure exchange of information and files. 

Cons:

  • No free plan available although you can have 14 days free trial.

Price: 

  1. Starter pack at 45$/Month
  2. Unlimited pack at 79$/Month
  3. Enterprise pack at 149$/Month

10. Troop messenger

Troop messenger

 This instant messaging app is yet again for primarily business use. The software provides various features that truly enhance your experience. The software is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

It allows for unlimited audio and video calls. Its workout feature allows sending a text message to multiple individuals simultaneously. You can choose team members who’ll receive the message or can randomly pick from favorites and recent. 

A unique burnout feature allows private conversation with another user. A timer is set before the conversation and chats are automatically deleted once the exchange is complete. Apart from this, you can share audio messages, share your screen, and get remote desktop control.

The app is preferred for business use as this allows effortless communication with group calling. Also, file-sharing with extra supported file formats and data record text. The text editing features are useful in case of unprofessional replies as these can be edited. 

Pros: 

  • File sharing with supported formats
  • An additional messaging feature like text editing
  • 150 GB storage for premium

Cons: 

  • No free plan available
  • Only 7 days trial period

Price: 

  1. Premium at 1.34$/Month
  2. Enterprise at 3.05$/Month

11. Skype

skype

Skype was developed in 2003 and was so widely popular that for video calling people knew only skype. It allows voice and video calling across the world using the internet. There were 500 million users worldwide in 2015 only. It uses a hybrid peer-to-peer and client-server system.

This telecommunication application can now be considered as instant messaging software. With updates and development, skype allows even text, video audio, and image transfer.

To use skype you required a unique skype id to communicate through both instant messages and voice chats. It is used by many companies for years now. The platform supports conference calls among 50 users. It has client software and apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Skype offers secure communication.

The app allows free calls to other skype users and charges a premium for SMS and calls to a landline. Skype allows the sending and receiving of any type of files within 300 MB files. 

Pros

  • Unlimited free calling
  • Multiple format File sharing
  • High-quality video calling             

Cons:

Price: 

  1. 8.99$/Month

12. Telegram

Telegram

With 400 million users this instant messaging software has become widely popular since its release in 2013. The software is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. The software provides client-server encryption for messages and media. It also provides end-to-end encryption calls and option secret chats. This cross platform-based software fast loading for instant view blogs. The app has a telegraph which allows roughly edited posts, allowing you to promote your business through it.

Instant messaging software requires telephone numbers verified by SMS. The messages are cloud-based and can be accessed on multiple devices. You can share files, photos, and documents up to 2 GB in size. This feature helps the developer share software that is large in size.

The app has channels with different usage as channels in other software. In channels, only the admin can share messages and the rest can see. The software allows unlimited free voice and video calling both one-to-one and in groups. It allows picture-in-picture play, has its own video player and video messages for public groups.

This instant messaging software is a perfect pick for businesses involving online media content and marketing. 

Pros: 

  • Supports a large number of file formats.
  • Allows file sharing for files up to 2 GB

Cons:

  • Not organized
  • No encryption in transit

Price: 

  1. Free
  2. Premium account available at variable prices

13. Respond 

respond

This instant messaging software is totally for business users and is designed to deliver quality service. The software allows effective collaboration and output maximization.

The software is available for Windows and Mac. Smartphone apps are also available for Android and iOS.The software is integrated with messenger channels, webchat, Sms apps, Email, and bot builders. It supports the sharing of a large number of file formats.

The direct messaging supports sending and reading receipts features, notes, and mentions by using @, chat assignments, snippets, and shared inboxes.

The software has multiple roles with different levels of access for each. The admin is the one with the most controls, followed by the manager and agent.

You can import contacts and manage customers in one app with the real-time analytics dashboard. This instant messaging software allows bulk messaging and automatic contact assignment. The software uses push notifications to let you know about every update.

It comes with two pricing, the first one being free and can be used forever. The free version allows 5 team members, unlimited messages, multiple channels, and up to 100 contacts.

While the paid subscription offers unlimited team members and 1000 contacts in addition to the free plan. You can get a free trial for a paid plan to know and decide better.

Pros: 

  • Free plan available
  • Ideal for small and medium businesses

Cons: 

Price: 

  1. Paid plan at $29/Month 

14. ProofHub

ProofHub

Made for business and professional use, this instant messaging software is best for collaborative works and project management. The app has a number of tools to help with the same.

The software offers many unique features to ease working on it. It is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, it can be used on web browsers as well. The software offers an organized and planned working environment for business and to get the most out of time. You can set a common calendar for all users to refer to for work, and set deadlines for tasks.

Working becomes easy with notification on the progress of tasks set by admin, and the workflow simple to understand. It has a gantt chart to effectively plan your work and avoid confusion for tasks assigned to individuals.

You can even organize your documents in this instant messaging software and save the same documents multiple times.

 The admin can decide the amount of access provided to each person using access control features. The direct messages features allow quick real-time conversations.

It also has a time display feature which shows time elapsed doing each project. Keep track of time and with organized work on this software propel your business. Try the software free for 40 days and decide for yourself. 

Pros:

  • Simple and structured design 
  • Tasks and time tracking features
  • Categorized Document storage
  • Unlimited users and 15 GB + Storage

Cons

  • No free subscription available

Price:

  1. 15 GB storage at $45/Month
  2. 100 GB advanced features at 89$/Month

15. Discord

Discord

There is rarely anyone today who does not know about discord. Released in 2015 this app had 250 million as of 2020. The app was made popular by YouTubers and gamers because of its voice room features and streaming. It is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS and can be used on web browsers.

You can create multiple free servers and invite members through links. The creator of the server gets administrative control and can change settings, remove, give access to new members. This Instant Messaging software allows you to make profiles with uploaded or captured profile pictures.

Only recently the Instant messaging software gained users from business backgrounds. This app is used mostly by developers as it provides developer tools and users can make internet bots for their servers.

The app allows texting, file sharing of up to 8 MB with a free version, you can share photos, videos, and documents within the size limit. The app can be connected with famous streaming sites like youtube which can further help you promote your business easily.

Multiple rooms for video and voice chat can be created and screen sharing is allowed. Within servers, you can make channels for each group of the workforce. 

The app is ideal for small and medium businesses and with its Nitro pack, you can boost your server to send larger files, better stream quality, and send gifts to your colleagues.

Pros

  • Unlimited server and channel creation.
  • High-quality voice and video calls
  • Organized features with access control

Cons

  • Does not support integrated apps
  • Limited file sharing size with the free version

Price:

  1. Free version with 8 MB file size limit
  2. Nitro pack with 100 MB limit and better FPS streaming at 9.99$/ Month

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Conclusion

Now that you are equipped with all the information you may need before getting instant messaging software. You can decide what’s best for your needs. Most of these software have free trials or free subscription plan. You can get use them for free or go for paid versions and better your experience on the software and the apps as well.

Some software is more reliable than others and no doubt many have been using them for years. If you are incredulous about investing in communication through instant messaging software. You can go for software from Microsoft, Google, or Facebook. 

Slack is also preferable if you want the best among the best. Paid versions do offer more in any instant messaging software and if you have a large workforce you must go for it. Start from free plans and switch to premium when you feel the need. Whichever app or software you use or plan you opt for. It is certain that instant messaging is going to boost your business in a lot many ways.

FAQ

1. Is instant messaging safe?

The security of instant messaging depends on software and service. Most instant messaging softwares uses end-to-end encryption and no user data is stored in company servers for the privacy of customers. The files transferred through instant messaging are encrypted in widely used softwares and follow the AES security protocol used for financial transactions. So your texts and files can be as safe as your money used sent through net banking.

2. Is WhatsApp safer than the messenger?

Whatsapp uses end-to-end encryption by default while messenger has an option for this type of messaging. There is no certain way to tell which one is safer as both are owned and maintained by Facebook  Incorporated. It is obvious though, that messenger is more open to scams as people can reach you through Facebook while for WhatsApp contact detail is required.

3. How is instant messaging used for business?

Business communication requires the exchange of files, information, and money. A large number of people work in a company, office, and communication with all is cumbersome even with email. Instant messaging allows quick messaging to groups and giving instruction with ease. Important files in business must be shared quickly and safely and digitalization is essential. Instant messaging fulfills this need and even allows sharing simultaneously to 50+ people in just a few taps. 

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