Selecting the best team communication app for your organization is critical for workplace efficiency. These apps integrate different modes of communication so there’s reduced room for error, and each employee has an efficient means of interaction. From instant messaging and file sharing to video conferencing, these apps facilitate better collaboration amongst your team.
When searching for a suitable team collaboration app, prioritize options that deliver various chat modes, productivity tools, and integrations with other third-party tools. This greatly simplifies the workload for your team.
To help you find the right communication app for your workplace, we evaluated dozens of modern solutions and narrowed down the six best team communication apps:
- Microsoft Teams: Best overall app with a rich feature set
- Google Chat: Best for accommodating video conferencing needs
- Slack: Best for seamless integrations with third-party tools
- Rocket.Chat: Best for streamlining social media customer service
- Flock: Best for automating workflows
- Chanty: Best for robust task management features
Best Team Communications App Options at a Glance
*All providers offer a free plan that may have limited features. Prices are billed per user.
Microsoft Teams: Overall Best Team Communication App
*Plans are paid in full annually. Monthly contracts are not available.
For those in need of a unified communications platform, Microsoft Teams serves as a good all-in-one solution. Within the platform, you’re able to send instant messages to single coworkers or groups. Self-chats are also an option for the sake of note-taking and reminders. Threaded conversations, which structure conversations around a specific topic, are available through Teams. For those looking for personality in collaboration, animated messages with GIFs, stickers, and emojis are featured in MS Teams.
As for other collaboration tools, Microsoft Teams offers video conferencing with useful features, such as breakout rooms, whiteboards, screen sharing, and collaborative annotations. It supports up to 300 participants and a 30-hour meeting duration. Meeting recordings and live captions for over 30 languages are available for the high-tier plans.
With all of these features, Microsoft Teams doesn’t score particularly well when it comes to intuitiveness. Expect to need to look up how-to guides if you’re planning to use this solution. If you’re looking for an easier-to-use platform, Slack is a better option. Here are some more Microsoft Teams alternatives worth exploring.
Microsoft Teams Features
- Chat translation: Work with team members overseas without the worry of language barriers. Select the Translate option for a particular message, and the system will automatically change it into the language you understand. Microsoft Teams supports over 100 languages.
- Priority notifications: Mark messages as important to call attention to tasks. This feature also delivers urgent notifications every two to 20 minutes.
- Schedule send: This feature is beneficial for sending an important message at a later date. Change the day and time to send it earlier or much later than the initial schedule.
Google Chat: Best for Accommodating Video Conferencing Needs
*Plans are offered on an annual billing basis only.
Google Workspace has an incredibly high number of active users, with recent estimates spanning well into the billions. As part of this larger ecosystem, Google Chat is a very agile collaboration tool that includes advanced video conferencing features. At its highest capacity, Google Chat accommodates up to 500 participants and has a 24-hour duration in online meetings.
It does this while providing a completely free plan, which makes it the best free app for team communication while offering robust collaboration features. These tools include channels, file sharing, and screen sharing in video meetings at no cost, as long as you have a Google Workspace account.
The problem with Google Chat is that it lacks the advanced messaging capabilities found in most providers. For instance, group chats are private by default. This proves difficult as businesses need a public channel where they send company-wide announcements. In contrast, with Flock’s entry-level entry plan, you get access to unlimited private and public channels.
Google Chat Features
- Spaces: This is the channel’s version of Google Chat, where you get to work with colleagues on specific projects. There are two kinds of Spaces: threaded and unthreaded. The threaded will always have its history setting on, while the unthreaded offers the option to have the history setting switched on or off.
- Google Calendar scheduling: If you want to book a meeting with a colleague, open a chat message and choose the Calendar invite option in the Integration menu.
- Third-party integrations: While not as strong as some other competitors, you can connect your chat platform to different online tools to make work easier. Some third-party integrations include Asana, Giphy, Jira, Salesforce, Zapier, and Zendesk.
Slack: Best for Seamless Integrations With Third-party Tools
*Based on annual billing; you may also opt for a month-to-month subscription.
As one of the more popular group communication apps, Slack is the leader in third-party integrations, with it providing connection to over 2,500 external tools. These include third-party solutions for customer relationship management (CRM), design, marketing and sales, voice and video communications, human resources, analytics, and project and file management.
Slack features apps that aren’t available in Microsoft Teams, including the entirety of Google Workspace. It connects to Microsoft products, including Outlook and OneDrive. Slack integrates seamlessly with Teams so that you’re able to start meetings right from Slack. As we covered in our team collaboration statistics piece, digital collaboration is here to stay, and having a suite of valuable integrations only enhances the experience.
When you adopt this technology, you’ll pay a lot more in annual subscriptions compared to its popular counterpart Microsoft Teams. This is especially true if you incorporate integrations with additional subscription fees that are typically folded into the Teams pricing structure. If you need a bigger participant capacity for your audio and video meetings, choose Microsoft Teams.
- Keyword notifications: Get alerts when someone mentions a project you’re working on or a topic you’re really interested in. Under the Preferences and Notifications settings, enter the keywords in the box provided for My Keywords.
- Reminder creation: If you need to remind yourself to check a certain channel or download a file a colleague shared, hit the lightning bolt option on your Slack chat box and find the reminder button. Once the reminder is created, the Slackbot will remind you of the action you need to take at the date and time you set.
- Slack Connect: Create a channel to work with partners, suppliers, customers, and other key stakeholders outside your organization.
Rocket.Chat: Best for Streamlining Social Media Customer Service
For those looking for a very social media-heavy experience, Rocket.Chat is a strong option. The app is ideal for team communication focused on streamlining social media customer service thanks to its omnichannel features. These enable the distribution of inquiries among agents in your queue. All of these agents will have a shared inbox that contains all customer communications so that past interactions are in an easy-to-access location.
You’ll also find that the communications inbox includes not only standard chat inquiries, but inquiries from social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, Telegram, and even WhatsApp. When everything is all in a one-stop shop, it’s easy to strategize with the team on how to manage customer interactions.
One drawback in using Rocket.Chat is its clunky mobile interface, which could be counterproductive for on-the-go team members. Slack is a better option if you want a communication platform that works well on mobile devices.
- Customizable interface: Take advantage of the white-labeling features of Rocket.Chat and own the communication platform you’re using. Refer to your brand’s guidelines as you incorporate design elements into the workspace.
- Canned responses: Address customer concerns fast with saved replies for frequently asked questions. Activate this feature under the Administration settings.
- Engagement dashboard: See trends in how team members communicate. With this, you’re able to determine the ideal day and time to announce specific messages.
Flock: Best for Automating Workflows
*Pricing is based on an annual subscription. A month-to-month option is also available.
Flock is the best app for team communication for businesses wanting to streamline different business operations with automated workflows. The provider’s process automation feature enables users to completely automate any recurring tasks or processes, which helps reduce the need for repetitive task assignments. This helps preclude the potential for human error.
The Process Automation module helps team members complete new hire requests, sales invoicing, and vendor payment execution. The tool integrates easily with the messenger so that real-time updates can be provided as your team communicates. The process is easy—it involves filling out some required fields and identifying the department that’s responsible for facilitating the process.
However, there are drawbacks to the provider. Unless you’re subscribed to the highest-tier package, the ability to manage channels is unavailable. For those who need the ability to manage channels, we recommend a team communication app like Chanty instead. Within that platform, you’ll find the strong process automation tools of Flock but with better channel management with a small monthly investment of $3 per user.
- To-do list: Add tasks to your to-do list based on your conversations with colleagues. The to-do bot automatically generates a task ticket when you use the /todo command. The ticket has a “Mark as Done” option, so it’s easy to track the completion of each task.
- Voice notes: Jump on a quick voice note to explain a process or share feedback with a colleague. You won’t have to type long messages that take a lot of time.
- Polls: Collect feedback from colleagues in the form of a survey. State the question, provide options, then set an expiration date for the poll.
Chanty: Best for Robust Task Management Features
*Based on annual billing; you may opt for a monthly subscription as well.
Chanty is a team communication app that stands out thanks to its very impressive price point and its excellent task management tools. While the free plan for Chanty is definitely a bit limited, its monthly user price point is very reasonable. The paid plan has extensive features for organizing projects, including task assignments, messaging threads, and a Kanban board—typically available in some of the best project management packages. Chanty even allows team members to start a discussion within tasks.
This platform also has artificial intelligence (AI) features that help improve colleague collaboration by automating associated tasks without the need for human intervention. Teambook is another feature that makes task management easy on the platform. It’s a central hub containing all your tasks, public and private conversations, calls, pinned messages, and shared links and files.
One drawback with Chanty is the additional cost for multi-conversation guest users. If you anticipate adding guests to your workspace, you’ll benefit from Microsoft Teams’ guest access available on their Business Basic plan, which costs only $6 per user when billed monthly.
- Threaded conversations: Keep up with discussions without scrolling through so many messages. This feature provides context to conversations so that there’s no need to repeat information.
- Announcement mode: Direct everybody’s attention to important, time-sensitive messages. With announcement mode, only the admin sends messages to the group, increasing the visibility of announcements.
- Conference call: Set up meetings with one click. Select the Audio and Video Call icon at the top right corner of a conversation to facilitate a call with another team member.
How We Evaluated the Best Team Communications Apps
Many group communication apps in the market promise better collaboration among remote teams. As you might expect, some will stand out in features and capabilities. To determine the best team communication solutions, we evaluated each with these criteria points on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
We evaluated each provider’s pricing for their Pro plans and awarded more points to those with cheaper annual pricing. We also determined which was the best free team communication app amongst the providers and determined which free plan had the most to offer very small businesses and solopreneurs. We also considered the availability of a free trial since most small businesses look for this before adopting a new platform.
25% of Overall Score
We noted the basic collaboration features of the apps, including unlimited messaging to channels, group calls, and analytics. Third-party apps and integrations that enhance communications capabilities were also part of our consideration.
20% of Overall Score
We particularly focused on productivity tools, namely to-do lists and calendar management. We gave more points to providers that have polls and screen-sharing features.
10% of Overall Score
To evaluate ease of use, we took a look at the overall user experience of each provider. Features like clear menus, a clean user interface, and included features each weighed heavily in this category.
10% of Overall Score
When it comes to customer support, not every experience is equal. For example, some providers have extended hours of support while others support customers 24/7. Additionally, the number of available support channels easily varies from provider to provider. As a result, we granted providers with more channels and longer availability higher scores than those with limited channels and limited customer support hours.
20% of Overall Score
We determined the value for money of each provider, weighing if the inclusions for certain packages are worth the cost. We noted their standout features, popularity, and ease of use, which would make them a top choice for businesses.
*Percentages of overall score
The current crop of the best apps for team communication enables teams to work and collaborate efficiently. These apps also boost and maintain productivity even when working remotely. Among the top providers on the market, Microsoft Teams comes out as the best overall thanks to its rich feature set of tools.
The affordable cost and the inclusions for each of their plans offer good value for money. You’re able to do more with the project management tools it offers, namely the channels, group calendar, and file sharing. Subscribe to Microsoft Teams today.