Instant messaging platforms are more popular than ever. With the rise of instant messaging giants like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, we can only expect more intense communication via texting.
Moreover, instant messaging platforms are taking over business communication as well. Lean and user-friendly messaging solutions have taken over telephone, faxing, and emailing. They enable teams to communicate and collaborate more successfully, even in a hybrid work environment.
What is an instant messaging platform
Instant messaging platform is one of the essential tools for digital workplaces. It is used for communication and collaboration among employees that work remotely, thus making work easier and faster.
Although instant messaging platforms are first and foremost used for asynchronous communication, the best of them feature calling and video conferencing. That way, they truly embody the meaning of a communication platform.
The business instant messaging market was heavily influenced by its consumer-oriented counterpart. By mimicking features of most popular messaging apps, business messaging solutions were able to provide an organic communication experience to their customers. This has numerous benefits for workplace cohesion, culture, and success of the collaboration.
Best instant messaging platforms for business
Instant messaging platforms that are business-oriented usually cater to organizations that want user-friendly communication solutions. There is a wide variety of instant messaging platforms for small, medium, and enterprise businesses. Some of them even have free versions, and are perfect for trying out on a smaller team before implementing it company-wide.
Here are our top five picks of instant messaging platforms that help with teams with sharing of knowledge.
Yes, this is us, let us have this one! 😉
Rocket.Chat is a rising star among instant messaging platforms for business. Besides our focus on seamless user experience, we are considered to be one of the most secure collaboration tools for businesses due to our security features.
Also, Rocket.Chat has been a remote-first company since its inception, so our features and functionalities come from our own experience as a remote team.
When it comes to instant messaging itself, we support numerous ways of communicating with your colleagues: in teams, discussions, threads, and channels. Since Rocket.Chat is also an open-sourced project, every company can customize the chat according to their own preferences, too!
MS Teams is probably one of the most popular business instant messaging platforms out there. It is mostly catering to enterprise businesses that use the rest of the Microsoft products -the existing Microsoft users can get MS Teams for free.
However, MS Teams is not as flexible as other solutions. It has limited group and channel options, and setting it up is sometimes more complex than it should be. Find out why organizations increasingly choose MS Teams alternatives.
At one moment, Slack was almost synonymous with business instant messaging. It was one of the first platforms to revolutionize the way we communicate in the workplace. Its ease of use and flexibility helped it achieve such a status.
Even though Slack is a great instant messaging platform, it doesn’t compare well to its competitors when it comes to data security. Thus, we see more and more Slack competitors increase their market share.
Since it is a product created by RingCentral, Glip is an instant messaging platform that combines video calling, chat, tasks, file sharing, and event scheduling. Its users praise it for helping them be more productive.
Glip also supports third-party integrations, making it easy for teams that already use a different instant messaging platform to adopt it.
Flock is an instant messaging platform meant to ease collaboration among team members. With features oriented towards increasing productivity, it enables users to stay focused on their tasks: that's why it's one of the most popular remote work chat apps there.
Moreover, third-party integrations allow Flock users to streamline their everyday work and connect all of their favorite apps.
Most popular consumer-oriented instant messaging platforms
Most business instant messaging platforms draw inspiration from their consumer-oriented counterparts. The most popular instant messaging platforms that we list here have hundreds of millions of users across the globe.
📚 Before you start with the list, check out our article on encrypted messaging apps. As security is becoming a more popular aspect of consumer communication, these solutions are becoming more popular!
WhatsApp is the most used instant messaging platform in the world. Its popularity spans across different markets and it is currently used by approximately 2 billion people.
It was the first instant messaging solution to popularize encryption, although some experts are questioning its security since it was acquired by Facebook.
Exchanging instant messages via WhatsApp is easy, and the tool is very user-friendly. However, people should be careful not to exchange business-related information via WhatsApp or other consumer-oriented instant messaging platforms. Check out our guide for secure messaging for businesses.
Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging platform that grew popularity through its ‘parent product’ – Facebook itself. Nevertheless, it is now used by more than a billion people worldwide.
WeChat is the most popular instant messaging platform in China. However, it is not named “China’s super app” for nothing: it features numerous functionalities like video conferencing, video games, and more.
Telegram is an instant messaging solution whose priorities are speed and security. As such, it can often be found on the lists of highly secure instant messaging platforms. It is popular throughout the world, without prevalence in a country or a region.
QQ, also called Tencent QQ, is another Chinese messaging solution that also supports numerous functionalities. For example, it is used for listening to music, shopping, games, microblogging, watching movies, and others.
Why is instant messaging good for business?
In some companies, having an instant messaging solution comes as a given. Others, however, still rely on other methods of communication and lag behind their technologically advanced peers.
There are many benefits to instant messaging platforms for businesses. For one, they embody best practices of team communication. Here is a more detailed breakdown.
Fostering team collaboration
Collaboration is essential for businesses nowadays. According to employees themselves, lack of collaboration is one of the main reasons for workplace failures.
Moreover, any organization that aims to further develop its business must know the true power of team collaboration. Not only is it crucial for innovation, but it ensures that the outcome of projects is of the highest quality.
Instant messaging platforms enable employees to communicate and collaborate effortlessly, thus shortening the time spent on finding crucial information and working on it. For example, research shows that productivity rises by 25% in organizations whose employees are well connected.
Enhancing employee engagement
When communicating is easy, employees’ work is more interconnected. Thus, employees engage each other in their work. Instant messaging platforms sometimes also feature bots that ask them different questions and engage them to give praise or answer random questions, which makes employees more engaged
Connecting remote coworkers
Instant messaging apps make it easier for remote coworkers to connect and collaborate. Asynchronous messaging can help them keep on top of their tasks AND feel as a part of the company even though they work in different locations and across different time zones.
Strengthening company culture
With an instant messaging platform for business, it’s easy to create channels with different topics and let the discussion take place. Research shows that employees who are happy with the quality of their workplace relationships tend to be more attached to the organization.
In other words, instant messaging platforms are a great way to connect your employees on business and non-business topics. This can do wonders for your company culture, which is challenging to maintain in a remote setting, and it can help optimize employee retention.
Giving employees the tools for the future of work
As the generations that will soon comprise a huge majority of the total workforce, you could say that Millennials and Gen Z should have their say about workplace communication. The major trend we see in workplace communication among younger generations is their preference for instant messaging over other communication means.
For example, 75% of Millennials would rather exchange instant messages than talk on the phone. Why? Well, 76% prefer texting because it allows them to check messages in their own time. Moreover, 63% consider instant messaging less distracting than phone calls.
Therefore, instant messaging platforms are seen as a more natural communication hub for Millennials and Gen Z. Check out which other collaboration software could help your company get the best out of collaborative best practices.
How to choose the right instant messaging platform for your organization
There are numerous business instant messaging platforms on the market today. It is not always easy to choose the solution best suited for your business. So, what features and functionalities of instant messaging solutions are worth focusing on?
First of all, it would be great if your instant messaging platform could support other communication functionalities besides texting. For example, look for solutions that support video calls and conferencing, too.
Moreover, data protection and security should be a huge factor when acquiring an instant messaging platform for your business. Data privacy is more important to customers than ever, but it is also more vulnerable due to a dispersed workforce.
Furthermore, data breaches are costly in terms of money and time it takes to fix them. Therefore, security is one of the most important aspects of instant messaging platforms and should be a guiding principle in your purchasing decision.
Here are a couple of resources to help you out with that:
📚 The ultimate list of 18 most secure messaging apps
📚 Secure messaging apps: why, what, and how
📚 Messaging apps: 8 most important security features to look for
Secure collaboration with Rocket.Chat
So, what sets Rocket.Chat apart from other instant messaging platforms? Well, we do everything all the other apps do.. Except exposing your data.
Our security bundle is one of the strongest on the market, and data protection is continuously our #1 priority. Get in touch with our team to check how Rocket.Chat marries collaboration best practices with highest data security standards!