In today’s communication-heavy world, businesses must have a robust way to connect with other internal teams and customers. Across industries, remote and hybrid workforce has become a standard approach.
In this scenario, investing in robust chat and video applications helps businesses exchange quick messages as well as promote immersive discussions with stakeholders based on specific business requirements.
In this blog post, we have listed the top chat and video applications along with their key features.
Why do companies need both chat and video?
Engaging in text chat helps team members exchange quick messages, links, and documents.
On the other hand, video meetings promote face-to-face communication, offering an immersive experience. Therefore, having a combination of video and chat features helps businesses leverage the best of both worlds.
Live chat helps businesses extend immediate customer support and answer their queries quickly and efficiently. Through the chat widget, customers can share images and screenshots, and agents can provide files and resources from the knowledge base.
Video meetings help offer personalized assistance and demonstrations. Customer support agents can share their screens and offer a detailed walkthrough of the solution.
A recent HubSpot study demonstrates that millennials prefer live chat and text messages. On the other hand, Gen-X and Baby Boomers opt for a more immersive experience.
Therefore, having both video and chat helps serve diverse customer segments through their preferred channels.
When it comes to internal communication, the live chat feature helps engage in threaded discussions, polls, and one-on-one conversations.
On the other hand, video conferencing helps facilitate lengthier discussions and engage cross-functional teams in brainstorming sessions. They help accelerate decision-making and establish a transparent line of communication for businesses with a remote workforce.
Key features of chat and video apps for businesses
Let us list the important features you must watch out for when you are looking for a suitable solution:
1. Participant and duration limits
Different video chat apps have different limitations when it comes to the number of participants. For instance, Zoom Meetings allow only three participants in the free plan and restrict the time to 40 minutes.
So, while choosing a chat and video application for your business, pick one that matches your estimated participant size and average meeting duration requirements.
2. Network speed requirements
Different chat and video applications have different network speed requirements. This is an important consideration as mismatches may lead to latency and downtime, which impacts the service quality and disrupts internal team communication.
3. Advanced features
While choosing a reliable video chat app, check for key features like file sharing, in-app chat, calendar sync, transcription, multi-language support, whiteboarding, group chats, hand-raising functionality, branding, etc.
4. Data security
As per an IBM study, data breaches cost organizations a whopping USD 4.45 million, which is a 15% increase over three years. So, data security and privacy matters when it comes to choosing communication applications.
Choose a secure video chat app that has end-to-end encryption, custom access controls, two-factor authentication, device verification, etc.
5. Customization and Integration
Video chat applications are not the only communication tool that you would be using as an organization. Given this, choose an application that can support integration with other communication tools in your existing tech stack. Doing so would help minimize disruption and ensure a seamless workflow.
Also, businesses function in varying environments and have dynamic requirements. So, choose video chat apps that allow a higher degree of customization. In that case, choose open-source applications, as you can rebrand and customize them based on your business needs.
Best chat and video apps for a connected workplace
Chat-based apps that also include video features are the best apps for distributed workplaces that mostly communicate asynchronously. We have listed some of the best chat and video apps for your reference.
Rocket.Chat is a popular chat platform for internal collaboration and customer communication. It is an open-source tool and has powerful security features like end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and customized user access controls. On the other hand, Pexip is a robust video communication platform.
So, Rocket.Chat + Pexip helps consolidate video communication and chat messages while also ensuring data security. The best thing is that the tools can be deployed on-premises, so they are appropriate for businesses functioning in regulated industries.
Moreover, as Rocket.Chat is an open-source software, it can be customized to match business requirements.
- Secure, on-premises solution
- Integrated voice and video abilities
- Decentralized communication
- Complete data control
- Highly customizable configuration
- Easy integration with other tools
Small, medium, and large-scale businesses functioning in privacy-conscious, highly-regulated industries like healthcare, defense, banking, etc.
Next on our list of top chat and video apps is Slack. The workplace chat app helps businesses facilitate seamless internal communication. On Slack, team members can create separate channels and lead threaded conversations based on teams, topics, projects, etc.
Slack also supports the sharing of files, images, videos, etc., which helps team members communicate as and how specific circumstances may demand. On Slack, team members can also convene video meetings for immersive discussions. This makes Slack a preferred app for businesses with a remote or distributed workforce.
- Private and public channels
- Video, voice, and text conversations
- Instant notifications and automated reminders
- Easy note-taking
- Advanced search functionality
Medium- and large-scale organizations with remote workforce functioning in an industry that requires constant communication.
Discord is a popular chat and video app for medium and small businesses. It was initially built for gamers and now it has evolved into an ideal choice for online communities. A defining feature of Discord is its low latency, which reduces time lag during live conversations.
The UI of Discord is very intuitive. So, small businesses can invest in Discord and start using the tool without extensive training.
Also, Discord has higher customization abilities that allow businesses to define their call and text flow based on their needs. Beyond video and text, it has live voice channels that allow team members to have their mic off throughout and turn it on when they wish to converse.
- Live voice channels
- Two-factor authentication
- Free subscription
- Text, video, and voice communication
- Easy to set and navigate
Small organizations and online communities that involve continuous live communication and require low latencies.
4. MS Teams
MS Teams is one of the commonly used chat and video applications for internal communication. Developed by Microsoft, it goes well with other MS Office tools. You can easily exchange documents, PowerPoint, spreadsheets, etc. internally. It has a calendar sync and lets you invite other employees, participate in channel-wise conversations, streamline appointments, and so on.
MS Teams has a mobile application that can be used on Android, Windows, and iOS. This makes it easy for remote team members to communicate with each other. MS Teams offers extensive features for video chat, including whiteboard, transcription, Onedrive sync, calendar sync, etc.
- Calendar meetings
- Context/ project/ team-based threads
- Integration with Microsoft 365 products
- Sharepoint storage for documents
- Custom access controls
- Advanced search functionality
Educational institutions and large-scale enterprises that have invested in Microsoft Office 365.
Pumble is a well-known texting application with video conferencing features. You can streamline internal and customer conversations in one go. The tool allows you to engage in private conversations or group chats. You can also set up private and public channels for communication.
On the other hand, when it comes to video chat, Pumble allows screen sharing and file sharing. Team members can start high-quality video meetings with just a single click. They can also share the meeting link through messages or as calendar invites. Pumble can be deployed on-premises or cloud. So, it works well for businesses with data security and privacy concerns.
- On-premises deployment
- Record and share video messages
- Desktop and mobile application
- Unlimited chat history storage
- High-quality, instant video meetings
- Private and public channel communication
Startups and small-scale businesses that have security concerns regarding data sharing.
Flock has intuitive chat and video abilities and allows business team members to communicate instantly. You can convert discussions into tasks and set up a custom workflow. Team members can set up polls and share voice messages across public and private channels. You can also share files with a simple drag-and-drop functionality.
During video meetings, Flock allows 20 members. Yet, you can add any number of people to the team group. The chat history and meet recordings can be saved and retrieved later through the advanced search feature. You can search history by contacts, dates, or context.
- Multiple channels for text conversations
- Video meetings with up to 20 members
- Mobile and web application
- 20 GB storage per user
- Advanced search for chat and video recordings
- Set up and manage multiple teams
Small and medium-scale businesses that require an efficient chat and video application.
Element is a secure communication app that has text messaging, voice, and video conferencing abilities. It has end-to-end encryption that allows businesses to keep their conversations private and establish control over data.
With Element, team members can engage in threaded conversations, conduct polls, and share locations. Through its text-messaging channel, team members can share text messages and call attention by highlighting in bold, italics, and strikethroughs.
They can also add embedded links and emojis. Businesses can gain a consolidated view of the internal conversations on a single, intuitive dashboard.
- End-to-end encryption
- Voice, chat, and video abilities
- Stringent device verification
- Private and public group chat rooms
- Powerful, real-time chat dashboard
- Multiple themes and templates
Small and medium-scale businesses looking for a secure video and text communication platform.
Best video chat apps
Now that we have seen applications that support chat and video in one go. In this section, let us take a look at those applications that prioritize video conferencing and chat as an add-on. Most of these are perfect for customer-facing teams or teams that often need space for 3+ stakeholders’ discussions.
Zoom is a popular, cloud-based, video-conferencing platform with advanced features and functionalities. It provides a platform for businesses to engage in immersive discussions with internal teams as well as customers. It can be accessed via mobile, desktop, and web browsers.
Team members can share their screens and files and use text chat to communicate between meetings. Zoom Meetings allows screen sharing and has an online whiteboard that lets team members showcase their ideas and seek clarifications. Its free plan allows video conferencing for up to three people and has 40-minute time restrictions.
- Whiteboard content generation
- Chat and meeting summary
- Free up to three users
- Multi-language support
- Extensive integrations and APIs
- Conversation intelligence
Businesses and institutions that require video conferencing, webinars, and whiteboard features
2. Google Meet
Google Meet is a popular video communication app. It has a simple, intuitive interface that allows businesses to communicate easily with team members as well as customers. Meet allows participants to add a professional look by blurring their backgrounds and adding a custom background with their business/ brand identity.
Google Meet works well with Google Workspace. Team members can create instant meetings that sync automatically with the participant’s calendar. The conversations are encrypted, and the admin dashboard helps determine user controls.
- In-meeting chat
- Live closed captions
- Virtual backgrounds
- Engage with 100+ people at a time
- End-to-end encryption and advanced security
- Easy integration with other Google Workspace tools
Small organizations that have Google Workplace integration and those that require an easy-to-use video conferencing solution.
Webex is a popular video-conferencing platform with a wide range of features, including file transfer, whiteboard, screen sharing, etc. Employees can communicate internally and with customers through mobile and desktop applications. It has an in-application chat and polling abilities.
Team members can schedule Webex meetings, record them, and set custom user controls and access. It allows up to 100 participants and so works well for organizations of all scales.
Webex can be integrated with other third-party tools like Slack, Dropbox, Salesforce, etc. Communication across all Webex channels is end-to-end encrypted, making it appropriate for organizations with data security concerns.
- Screen sharing and whiteboarding
- Real-time translation for 100+ languages
- Breakout sessions
- Post-meeting summary
- Third-party calendar integration
- Background noise removal
Medium and large-scale enterprises that host video meetings with a large number of participants.
RingCentral is a popular video communication platform with advanced features for call centers and customer-facing businesses. Team members can engage in one-on-one or group live chat, share files and documents, exchange images and videos, etc. They can also set their availability status. The platform also allows supervisors to manage tasks and activities.
RingCentral allows businesses to host large-scale video meetings and stay connected with vendors, clients, and internal teams. It also allows breakout sessions where hosts can create small focus groups and promote brainstorming. Participants can share their screens and use whiteboards to build a real, dynamic experience.
- Break-out rooms
- Single click scheduling
- Interactive screen sharing
- Voice and live chat abilities
- Switch devices on the go
- Supports web as well as mobile or desktop hosting
Contact centers and medium-scale businesses that conduct frequent training sessions for internal business teams.
Jitsi is an open-source video conferencing platform with video conferencing and instant messaging features. It has a vibrant community of developers, so it is frequently updated.
As it is open-source software, Jitsi can be customized to a greater degree. Using Jitsi Meet, you can share your screen, presentations, etc.
Jitsi allows business team members to edit documents using Etherpad. They can also exchange messages and emojis through an integrated chat feature. The team members can invite others to join the video conferencing by sharing a custom URL with them. It can be integrated with a host of other business tools to ensure a seamless communication flow.
- Screen sharing
- Hand-raising and remote control
- Company branding and customization
- Live stream support
- Call encryption
- Open-source software
Small and medium-scale enterprises that require a customized video conferencing solution.
Frequently asked questions about <anything>
- Digital sovereignty
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- Scalable and white-labeled
- Highly scalable and secure
- Full patient conversation history
- Digital sovereignty
- Trusted by National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the US Army, the US Navy, and the US Air Force
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- Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
- Highly secure and flexible
- On-prem or cloud deployment