Whether you like it or not, instant messaging is now a vital part of doing business in the 21st century. Formal or informal, employees and bosses alike have an easier time communicating with each other in a way that wasn’t possible before. Almost every business in the market right now has utilized these instant messenger apps at some point. And some of the best instant messenger apps have put seamless communication, file sharing, video calls, and screen sharing all in one tiny package. And the best part? They’re free.
And in the time of lock-downs and physical distancing, they’ve become even more reliable. With team members separated and travel options limited, instant messenger apps ensure productivity among employees by maintaining constant communication at all times. These apps are now a common channel that connects employees, whether through one-on-one conversations, invite-only group chats, or public team chats in general. So it’s more important than ever to find the best instant messenger app which you can use for communicating in business.
Communication-Wise: Email vs Instant Messenger Apps
While some may argue that email is still the king when it comes to business communication, these apps beg to differ.
The best instant messenger apps have a lot of things in common. Instant messenger apps are, by default, instant. With a tap of a finger, you can communicate in real-time without the hassle of waiting for a reply email. This feature cuts down on waiting times and enables work to continue without a hitch.
Additionally, one of the benefits of using the best instant messenger apps is they encourage brevity. Whereas an email might require all the pleasantries and formalities, communicating through an instant messaging app is short and sweet. Messages are brief, straight to the point, with no questions asked.
And although both platforms are online, instant messenger apps are much more suited for brainstorming and topics that require on-going communication. You can’t communicate within emails in real-time, which might be an issue if you’re running on a tight deadline. Instant messenger apps provide a solution to this problem, where people can interact and contribute to on-demand conversations immediately.
What Makes A Good Instant Messenger App?
Before you can choose the best instant messenger app, first you have to know what makes a good instant messenger app. Nowadays, millions of people communicate through these platforms, so it’s no surprise that businesses have gotten wind of the trend as well.
Here are some key features to look out for in finding the best instant messenger app:
Instant messenger apps are called instant for a reason–they relay messages in real-time. So they must have push notifications that notify the user when messages arrive.
It’s known that the best instant messenger apps are the apps that can send and receive messages immediately. This is one of the core features of messaging apps in general, and are a must-have to compete with the best instant messenger apps on the market.
One-on-one conversations are no longer enough. With the rapidly-evolving state of technology, multitasking is a must for people in this day and age. The group chats feature in instant messenger apps is not only necessary, but it’s also beneficial in bridging together employees.
Free Voice & Video Calls
As the new channel for communication, instant messenger apps should contain free voice and video calling features. It should remove the need for charging network carrier fees, as the apps are connected online.
Communication is not limited to words, so instant messenger apps should have the option for multimedia attachments like photos, videos, files, etc. This feature opens new avenues for users to interact with each other, apart from conventional means.
The Best Instant Messenger Apps For Business Ranked
Every instant messenger app is unique in its own way, but there is a notable handful of which are great platforms to use for business.
1. Facebook Messenger
With over 2 million active users a month, Facebook Messenger is a no-brainer for communication. You can send messages, videos, GIFs, files, and audio recordings to stay connected with team members. What’s more is that Facebook Messenger is connected to your Facebook account, so it’s merely a matter of downloading the app and logging in.
Additionally, Facebook is one of the most prominent social media platforms to date, and it also houses most online businesses that are trying to make a living online. You can connect with customers easier on Facebook Messenger as you get to meet customers from where you are, while still maintaining communications with team members. This makes it one of the best instant messenger apps on the market.
Recently, Facebook Messenger also released a new feature called Messenger Rooms, which is an upgrade to their video calls that can support up to 50 people at a time.
This team-oriented messaging app has made waves across companies and casual users due to a mix of messaging, management tools, and app integration. Slack covers the basics of instant messaging while also supporting multimedia features like file sharing and group messaging tools.
Furthermore, the app features a system of chat channels that allows you to set subgroups for task or topic-oriented discussions. Slack also archives your communications, allowing you to search through old messages, channels, and shared files, and is integrated with services like cloud storage and Zendesk.
Rakuten-owned Viber is an instant messenger app that’s easy to set-up, offers a variety of messaging options, and uses your phone number as a login. The app can also sync up with your phone contacts to locate friends that are currently using Viber.
This instant messaging app can send texts, stickers, GIFs, photos, audio recordings all for free when it comes to fellow Viber users. However, the Viber Out feature lets you call non-Viber numbers and landline phones worldwide (for a fee).
New updates now introduced a self-destructing message feature that is only available in secrets chats in a one-on-one conversation.
4. Microsoft Teams
If your company already uses Microsoft’s Office 365, then you could do just as well with Microsoft Teams, the tech giant’s productivity-oriented messaging app.
This app offers a plethora of features, ranging from chat channels, group chats, to video and voice calls and file sharing. It also allows customizable chats and integration of Office suite tools, while replete with security and compliance features. Although, Teams does require users to have an Office 365 account.
5. BBM Enterprise
All of us remember the Blackberry mobile. While its days are long and gone, the Blackberry messaging platform would not be forgotten. So, if you miss the days when Blackberry is the most popular, then BBM Enterprise is right for you.
BBM Enterprises allows users to send, edit, retract, delete or even set a timer on messages, along with a reading receipts feature. Apart from the usual multimedia features, you can also share files, your location, and connect through video or audio calls.
For a less formal and business-like form of messaging and collaboration, then Band is perfect for you. It’s an instant messenger app which also doubles as a coordinated platform for more informal groups like family or friends or even study groups.
Here, users can make custom groups where they can invite friends and post announcements on a common board. The app also provides more focused private group chats where members can share files, create polls, upload photo albums, etc. It also a shared calendar feature so participants can stay updated with tasks.
Telegram is aimed squarely at the security-conscious user with end-to-end encryption where only you and your recipient can see it. What it boasts is a quick, encrypted messaging service for both personal and private chats. The instant messenger also features a group chat function that can hold up to 200 users at a time.
Communication is what drives people, what drives ideas, and what drives opportunities. This is why communication continuously challenges the bounds of modern technology, in order to transform it to a platform that is convenient and accessible to all. It’s this particular drive that gave birth to the development of the best instant messenger apps
These apps keep individuals and brands connected through speedy transfer of information. And when it’s used effectively, it opens a vast network of connections available at everyone’s fingertips.
Given the situation that we are facing, it is crucial to be able to connect to people as often as possible to check on them. While the best instant messenger apps serve as bridges in communicating, it is also vital that we know how to use them properly. Take time to update it regularly to maximize the use of old and new features that can take your conversations into a unique experience.
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