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Instant Messaging & Chat Software

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Connecteam logo



Enhance employee management with the only all-in-one app

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Connecteam is the collaboration, engagement and communication app that moves work forward and keeps your team connected in the tap of a button.

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ConnectWise ScreenConnect


Remote meeting platform for resolving customers' queries

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ConnectWise ScreenConnect (formerly Control) is a help desk solution that allows businesses to detect and resolve customer queries through remote monitoring capabilities. Agents can prevent potential cyberthreats & protect data via features such as AES-256 encryption and two-factor authentication.

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Project Management Made Easy

visit website is a cloud-based Work OS, where teams create workflow apps in minutes to run their processes, projects, and everyday work.

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Slack logo



A single place for team communication and workflows

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Slack is a single workspace that connects users with the people and tools they work with everyday, no matter where they are or what they do

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Trello logo



Visual collaboration tool for shared project perspectives

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From sales and marketing to HR and operations, teams can design and customize Trello to fit their unique needs and work styles. And with over 100+ integrations with other key tools like Google Drive, Slack, Jira and more, Trello is a breathing project hub of cross-team collaboration.

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Google Workspace


Collaboration app suite for teams

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Google Workspace is a suite of apps from Google which offers a number of tools to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, store files, and manage data

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Asana logo



The work management platform to organize work across teams.

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Asana is a chat and collaboration tool where you can connect all your work in one place and bring teams together, anywhere. From lists to boards, to calendars and gantt charts, organize work your way. Join millions of teams across 190 countries who use Asana to get more done.

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Google Meet


Messaging, voice, and video calls for team communication

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Google Meet is a video conferencing platform for teams to communicate via messaging, voice, and video. Features include high-definition video and audio conferencing for up to 100 participants, multi-device chat sync, stored chat history, real-time captions, meeting recording function, and more.

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Basecamp logo



Flexible project management & team communication tool

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Basecamp is a collaborative project management, team communication, and daily task tracking application suitable for use by teams of all sizes, from freelancers and SMBs to large enterprises.

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GoTo Meeting


Online meeting software with HD video conferencing

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GoToMeeting is an IM & chat tool that allows users to host an online meeting with high-definition video conferencing from their Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone or Android device, with up to 250 participants. Users can meet, screen share and chat via internet browser, mobile or desktop application.

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Telegram logo



Cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app for all devices

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Telegram Messenger is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging platform supported by native apps on most popular operating systems and devices, allowing users or user groups to connect and conduct voice calls, send messages, multimedia and files of all types across an end-to-end encrypted service

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Microsoft Teams


Chat-based workspace in Office 365

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Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace in Microsoft 365 which lets users collaborate on documents, make voice & video conference calls, view chat logs, and more. Teams has replaced Skype for Business as Microsoft's online meeting solution.

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ClickUp logo



Project management, task tracking, & professional goal tools

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ClickUp is a fundamentally new way to work - bringing separate apps like tasks, docs, spreadsheets, goal tracking, resources, and even an inbox, together in one place. It's the convergence of the best productivity and collaboration apps. Finally, there's one app to replace them all.

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Webex logo



One app for everything. And everyone.

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Webex brings together Calling, Meeting and Messaging modes of collaboration into a seamless, engaging, inclusive and intelligent experience.

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Google Chat logo

Google Chat


Communication tool for businesses and non-profits

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Google Chat is a communication software that helps businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations collaborate on projects and tasks. It lets users set up virtual chat rooms and chat threads, track task progress, and create follow-up tasks on a centralized platform.

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Miro logo



#1 Online collaborative whiteboard platform for teams

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Miro is #1 collaborative whiteboard platform, trusted by over 13M users worldwide. Easily collaborate, ideate and centralize communication. Get feedback, reviews, and approvals with multiple communication options using video, chat, commenting and many other collaborative features and integrations!

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Wrike logo



Manage your projects from start to finish with Wrike

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Turn discussions into results with instant messaging and chat features in Wrike's work management. Collaborate in real-time with internal and external stakeholders, share tasks and the latest files, and keep decisions clear and on-the-record.

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Homebase logo



Free employee scheduling, time tracking, and more.

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Homebase is an employee scheduling, time tracking, hiring, and communications tool for businesses and their employees within the retail and hospitality industries

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When I Work


Staff scheduling, time tracking, communication & attendance

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Use When I Work to schedule, track time and attendance, and communicate with employees, all in one place. Create schedules quickly and easily, and send the schedule to staff with just a click. Save time. Improve accountability. 14-day free trial.

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Workplace from Meta


A simple and secure way to connect your organization.

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Workplace from Facebook is a secure enterprise social networking platform that allows co-workers to connect immediately via Work Chat instant messaging

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Zoho Meeting logo

Zoho Meeting


Web conferencing tool to host online meetings and webinars.

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Use Zoho Meeting's built-in instant messenger tool to send instant chat messages to meeting participants during web conferences

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Zoho Mail


Zoho Mail is a secure, encrypted, and enterprise-ready email

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Use Zoho Mail's hosted email provider to not only send emails, but to communicate instantly via a built in live chat bar and group chat functionality.

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Trainual logo



Easy onboarding and training software for growing businesses

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Trainual helps growing businesses build better teams and scale faster by providing one central app for documenting processes and SOPs, then automating onboarding and training. Capture every process, policy, and procedure in one place and turn best practices into standard practices.

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Nifty logo



Project management, task tracking, & team collaboration hub.

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Nifty is a remote collaboration hub designed to manage projects, goals, communications, and teams all in one place. With Nifty, all over the place becomes all-in-one place. Every part of managing a project's lifecycle is here.

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Avaza logo



All-in-one, client-focused project management for teams.

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Avaza is a business management solution which includes features for project management, resource scheduling, online timesheets, expense management, online invoicing, recurring invoicing, quotes and invoices, and more. Avaza also integrates with third party platforms to streamline workflows.

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Here's what we'll cover:

Buyers Guide

Instant messaging chat

When it comes to collaborating on business-related tasks or projects, efficient communication is a necessity. Instant messaging & chat software connects coworkers in real time and prevents miscommunications by allowing them to share ideas, send progress updates, and discuss details conveniently.  

We created this buyers guide to help you select the instant messaging (IM) & chat software that’s right for your business. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is instant messaging & chat software?

IM & chat software allows two or more people to communicate in real time over the internet. Along with text chat, several applications also support file sharing, voice calls, video chat, and screen sharing. 

While stand-alone IM & chat applications do exist, they are also often a part of team communication systems. 

What are the deployment options for instant messaging & chat software?

There are two deployment options for IM & chat software. We’ve listed the characteristics of each option below:

Cloud-based deployment: Cloud-based software (also known as SaaS) is hosted by the vendor on their own or third-party servers; you access the system from a web browser or mobile app. This kind of deployment is usually charged on monthly or annual subscriptions. Some vendors also factor in the number of monthly users when calculating the subscription fee.

On-premise deployment: In this deployment model, you host the software on your own servers and network. This model is often more expensive upfront due to a one-time licensing fee and the cost of the necessary hardware. You’ll also have to pay for maintenance, upgrades, support, and data storage. 

Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy:

  • Do you offer support for on-premise deployments?

  • What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) including one-time expenses such as setup fees and data migration?

  • Is your system multi-lingual?

What are some common features of instant messaging & chat software?

After understanding the deployment options available to you, start building your shortlist based on the features you need most. Common features of IM & chat software include:

Chat: Communicate with one or more users simultaneously via a chat server. 


Chatting with Flock

Mobile integration: Receive messages and alerts on your smartphone via native mobile apps. 


Communicating with coworkers via the Zoho Cliq mobile app

Third-party integrations: Connect the tool with other systems to facilitate data exchange.


Alerts and previews of information from third-party applications in Slack 

Video chat: Connect with coworkers face-to-face from anywhere via the internet. 


Coworkers connect with video chat using GoToMeeting

File sharing: Allow users to share files among themselves through the application.


A catalog of shared files in Microsoft Teams

Notifications: Allow users to control how and when they’re alerted of new messages, cutting down on miscommunications and distractions. 


Managing notifications in Beekeeper

Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy: IM & chat software features are not limited to the ones listed above. Ask vendors about additional functionalities that would benefit your business:

  • Can your system integrate with third-party applications?

  • How many users does your system support?

  • What data security measures do you have in place?

  • Does your system offer collaboration features like screen sharing or calendar management?

  • Can your system support multiple languages?

  • Does your system allow for the setup of an internal help desk?

Back to instant messaging & chat software directory 

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.