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Instant Messaging & Chat Software

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Slack logo
Category Leaders

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

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An all-in-one employee app that's both powerful, affordable and easy to use, especially for the mobile workforce.

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MyHub logo

Cloud Based Intranet Solution

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MyHub will allow you to create a beautiful intranet that will transform the way employees connect to information, processes, and each other.

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Staffbase logo

Mobile-first employee communication for large organizations

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Staffbase internal communications platform solves your internal comms challenges and help build a best-in-class experience for your large, disconnected and distributed workforce.

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Weave logo

The all-in-one customer communication software

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Weave is the all-in-one customer communications and engagement platform for small business. From the first phone call to the final invoice and every touchpoint in between, Weave connects the entire customer journey.

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Brosix logo

Secure instant messenger for teams and businesses

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Brosix is a cloud-based solution designed to help businesses manage and streamline team communication using various secure communication channels. Users can send and receive files, hold group and private chat, send broadcast messages and screenshots, and much more all in a secure private network.

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Google Workspace logo
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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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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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TeamViewer Remote logo

Remote support, remote access & online meetings software

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TeamViewer is a remote support, remote access & online meetings management software which supports remote computer restart, printing, & install, & more

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Asana logo

The work management platform to organize work across teams.

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Asana is the leading work management platform for cross-team work that aligns employees around company goals and creates a system of record to help teams achieve them. Create clarity on priorities and responsibilities across teams, and monitor progress in real time to keep projects on track.

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Google Meet logo

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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GoTo Meeting logo

Online meeting software with HD video conferencing

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Get a fast, easy and reliable professional solution that enables customers to connect with colleagues through in-meeting chat or conference calling, and screenshare their presentations, all with the click of a button. The Meeting solution from GoTo Connect pairs productivity with flexibility.

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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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Telegram logo
Category Leaders

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 logo

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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Project Management Made Easy

learn more 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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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 Suite 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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ConnectWise ScreenConnect logo
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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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Google Chat logo

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

Miro is a visual workspace for innovation

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Miro is a visual workspace for innovation that enables distributed teams of any size to dream, design, and build the future together.

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Zoho Desk logo

Superior customer service. Lasting experiences.

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Zoho Desk, Zoho's flagship web-based customer service software, helps businesses of all sizes and types deliver superior customer service without spending a fortune.

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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 logo

Staff scheduling, time tracking, communication & attendance

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When I Work is the easiest way for businesses to schedule and communicate with your hourly employees. Put the schedule and time clock in everyone's pocket. Schedule, track time & attendance, and communicate with employees. Save time. Improve accountability. 14-day free trial.

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Workplace from Meta logo

A simple and secure way to connect your organization.

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Workplace from Facebook is a simple and secure way for people to share knowledge, work together and build connected communities.

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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.