Team communication apps are essential to successful digital workplaces. Remote workers around the world depend on communication with their colleagues to effectively collaborate on important projects.
Today, we’re surrounded by numerous workplace technologies. Yet, it seems like the simple instant messaging apps have made the most impact on our remote and digital work experience.
There are various team communication apps on the market today - and they all claim to be the best. Slack and Microsoft Teams aren’t the only options anymore!
It might be difficult to evaluate which chat solution could fit your team best. We’ve reviewed the best to help you make the right choice.
10 best team communication apps
This article is all about reviewing the best instant messaging tools for your organization. We evaluated the most popular chats according to the most common features that teams look for:
- ease of use
- ability to organize communication into teams, channels, and discussions
- integrated video calls
- integrations with other workplace apps
But, let's not fool ourselves - price matters, too! Here is a short overview of their pricing to evaluate which ones fit your budget:
Now, let's take a deep dive into every app to see how it would fit into your team.
This workplace communication platform is designed as a messaging-first app that allows users to communicate in teams, channels, discussions, and direct messages. It also supports voice messages and video calls - provided by Jitsi and Pexip, but integrated within Rocket.Chat.
Rocket.Chat is the preferred chat app among organizations in highly-regulated industries such as government and defense, healthcare, and education. This is due to its flexible open-source nature and the ability to deploy the app on-premise. The combination of the two ensures unmatched data sovereignty while enabling the best team communication practices.
- Pricing: Rocket.Chat’s self-managed pricing plan has a free community version. SaaS version pricing starts with €2 per user per month, while the Golden SaaS version includes tiered pricing and volume discount.
Chanty is a popular team communication app that ensures a simple and intuitive user experience. Besides instant messaging features, this app enables users to stay organized with simple task management.
Chanty also allows users to share text, images, videos, and other content formats. Team members can also save innovative ideas with pins.
Integrations with tools such as MailChimp, GitLab, and Google Drive make it possible to keep the work streamlined and save time from switching between apps.
- Pricing: Chanty has a simple free plan for teams smaller than 10 members, while bigger teams will get more features and functionalities starting from €3 per user per month.
Ryver is a combination of a team collaboration and messaging app. This 2-in-1 combo allows teams to organize their communication in a streamlined way and simply track their collaborative work.
On the communication side, Ryver allows teams to communicate via direct messages, in teams, and in wider forums - which are great for company announcements. With their Task feature, users can turn conversations into actions and track their progress.
Ryver has video and voice calls included in their beta version only, so you’ll have to count on a different solution for syncing with your team members for now.
- Pricing: $69 per month for up to 12 users, $129 per month for up to 30 users, and $4.67 per user per month for teams with more than 30 users.
Connecteam offers a wide array of workplace tech products - like an employee time clock, task management, employee training, and employee surveys. Among these is a team communication app, too.
Considering Connecteam’s background, it’s not surprising that their app is more focused on top-down communication than on peer-to-peer. Still, employees can easily get in touch with their team members via chat.
The app allows employers to quickly reach their employees, but also to gather their feedback and thoughts. Moreover, it makes it easy for employees to find relevant information - such as benefits, protocols, and guidelines. Employers can also measure their communications’ impact with engagement rates and real-time updates.
- Pricing: The lowest pricing plan is free for the first 50 users. Three other pricing tiers - Basic, Advanced, and Expert - start at $39, $79, and $159, respectively, for the first 50 users, charging additionally for bigger teams.
Flowdock allows teams to organize their collaboration. Within this chat app, users can color-code conversations and organize them by threads. Users can also engage in 1-on-1 conversations via chat.
Flowdock also supports video chat and screen sharing through one of their integrations, Appear.in. Other integrations allow users to receive real-time notifications from other tools.
To avoid interruptions in the workflow, team members can manage their notifications setting and improve their productivity.
A pattern that’s noticeable among user reviews on G2 includes suggestions to improve the user experience of the app, as it’s not always the easiest to get around.
- Pricing: Flowdock offers a free plan to teams smaller than 5, to students, and to non-profits. The Standalone plan costs $3 per user per month, while the Enterprise plan includes more functionalities and costs $9 per user per month.
6. RingCentral MVP
RingCentral MVP is a team communication app that used to be called Glip. Considering that RingCentral is known for its contact center solutions, its MVP app also includes voice and video call functionalities.
Apart from that, RingCentral’s solution is interesting because it bridges the gap between internal and external team members, as well as customers. All conversations that are taking place can be managed from within one app.
This app’s design is clearly playing to RingCentral’s strong suits - audio and video calls - but messaging also works smoothly. Still, we’d recommend this solution as the best for teams that use calls as the first mean of communication with their colleagues.
- Pricing: RingCentral MVP is more expensive than apps we mentioned so far. There is no free plan, and the cheapest plan - Essential - includes messaging and phone features for up to 20 users for $14.99 per user per month. The price per user increases as more functionalities are added, and the most expensive plan is $37.49 per user per month.
Fleep is another chat app that includes collaboration features. Every conversation in Fleep features a Taskboard to track progress. There are other features that allow Fleep users to manage their work more effectively - like pinned messages, file drawer, and presence indicators.
You can also place audio and video calls through Fleep with the help of Whereby. There are several native integrations with popular workplace tools, but open API ensures that you can connect this app with any software you want.
- Pricing: Fleep has three pricing categories. The free version includes limited features. The Business plan offers extended features for €5 per user per month. The highest pricing tear is meant for large enterprises and includes volume discounts.
Ah, Slack - the original team communication app! Did you know that Slack has been around since 2013? A true leader in the team chat apps market, Slack has set the bar high for other communication apps.
Teams love using Slack, but organizations find it harder and harder to justify its high price with so many Slack alternatives on the market.
Even though it was an instant messaging app first and foremost, Slack leaders recognized the right moment to introduce video and audio conferencing to the mix. Slack isn’t the preferred communication app in highly regulated industries though. Organizations working in such markets should consider looking for high data security features, among them self-deployment.
- Pricing: Starting from $6.67 per person per month, up to $12.50 per user per month with expanded features, and custom prices for the widest range of functionalities.
Flock offers standard communication features such as channel messaging, video and voice conferencing, and voice notes. Teams can add guest users to Flock to improve collaboration with external stakeholders or clients.
Flock has a unique feature called Me Tab, and it’s a simple workspace of your own to take notes or keep important links. So simple - yet allows users to write down their thoughts.
With Flock, you can share files, create to-dos, polls, and set reminders. It is a great workplace collaboration tool for teams that want simple collaboration features included in their main team communication app.
- Pricing: Free for teams up to 20 members (with limited features), $4.50 per user per month for up to 100 team members, and custom pricing for larger teams or teams that need extended functionalities.
Brosix is a team communication software that enables teams to participate in audio and video calls in addition to text messaging. This team chat app ensures safe communication with end-to-end encryption and other security features.
When it comes to its functionalities, Brosix provides certain collaboration features such as a whiteboard. It also has an integrated spell checker, which is a useful addition for dispersed team members that might not speak native English.
It’s interesting to note that Brosix offers white-labeling features, meaning that you can apply your own logo to it and personalize the communication experience.
- Pricing: Free for teams up to 3 members, $4 per user per month for the Business tier, and $6 per user per month with the widest range of features.
What features to look for in a team chat?
Before you introduce a new app to your team, you need to make sure of 2 things:
- that the app will be adopted well by team members - otherwise, what's the point?
- that introducing the app makes sense from organizational point of view in terms of security and fitting in with the rest of the portfolio.
To make sure of both, look for these features:
1. Ease of use
According to our own research, 77% of employees see the ease of use as a top priority to look for in a messaging app. It’s simple: if a team chat app is simple and easy to use, team members will be more likely to use it. Then, team communication can flow unobstructed.
Integrating your team communication app with other solutions that your employees use is a good way to drive adoption in the early stages of implementation. Later on, integrations help app users streamline their work.
For example, Rocket.Chat’s recent integration with Trello enables team members to efficiently handle task management from within the chat app.
Another example is integration with HRIS - it can let teams know when a certain team member is out of the office, or when they’re celebrating a work anniversary.
3. Scalability & flexibility
You want your chat to follow your organization as it grows. It’s important to check if the app is scalable and can work well for a small team as well as for a larger company. It's not as simple as adding more users - you will need to check additional security protocols that come with fast growth.
Also, organizations in highly regulated industries might want to check the communication app’s flexibility as they need it to fit into their complex infrastructure. In both cases, open source solutions are a good choice.
4. High security standards
Remote work has also brought up the topic of online security. It has shown that business instant messaging needs to uphold higher security standards than consumer-oriented solutions.
Remote teams often need to use encrypted messaging apps that support multi-factor authentication and include other security features.
➡️ Check out what are the most secure messaging apps on the market today.
5. Diverse communication channels
Workplace communication should be diverse. Most of the time, you will send a short message to your teammates, but sometimes, you also want to connect with them via video conferencing.
For some teams, voice and video calls are also important. Find out how your team prefers to communicate and look for fitting features in your next communication app.
How exactly does a chat app benefit your organization?
We're sure you know it already - team communication apps in their contemporary form have changed the way we talk to our colleagues. Moving away from email to faster and leaner solutions became detrimental to adjusting to the business and market needs of today.
Let's break it down:
1. Enabling effective and simple communication
Team communication apps mimic the messaging apps we use in our everyday lives. Since we communicate with our friends and family via instant messaging, it feels natural to do so at work, too.
For remote teams, the effective communication that these apps enable is crucial! Just imagine relying on email and phone with your colleagues working on another continent. Close to impossible and not as nearly as effective!
2. Faster response times
According to 70% of employees, the #1 benefit of instant messaging apps is faster response time. It’s true - emails are more often not responded to in comparison to chat messages. This adds to the better communication flow throughout the organization.
3. Fostering intuitive collaboration
Not only team communication but also team collaboration is easier with instant messaging apps. Working on joint projects requires smooth communication - via texting, video conferencing, sharing files, and more.
4. Increasing productivity
It’s no wonder that you can expect productivity to rise when you introduce a team communication app to the organization. For remote teams, asynchronous communication is crucial in getting their work done. One of the staples of effective organizational communication calls for clear and simple communication in service of productivity.
5. Improving work relationships
Chatting at work doesn’t always have to concern work. Many teams have channels dedicated to off-work topics such as sports, random facts, good music, or something else. This helps to spark conversations among coworkers and leads to better team relationships.
Conclusion: make your choice wisely
Choosing your next team communication app isn’t easy with all these providers on the market. However, you have to start somewhere!
We advise you to narrow your search down to top 3 choices with online research, and then review them more carefully during the free trial period. You can also test the app for a while with decreased functionalities or within a smaller team - depending on the free pricing structure.
Pay attention to features we listed in one of the previous sections: ease of use, scalability and flexibility, integrations, security standards, and the diversity of communication means.
You can also always get in touch with sales representatives from each vendor and ask them to show you around the app. Your team’s voice should be the one that counts, so make sure your team likes the new app, as they’ll be more inclined to use it.
In any case, we hope you make your choice wisely and don't compromise on security standards, as you can have both cool features and strong data security.
If you want to know more about how we do it here at Rocket.Chat, get in touch with our team.