“To err is human,” wrote Alexander Pope, but he could have just as easily written, “To communicate is human.” From pictograms carved into stone to the latest chat apps, humans are always finding better ways to communicate. Video calls can be as frustrating to schedule as a face-to-face meeting. Type a tiny message, get an equally short reply or perhaps just an emoji, and get on with your work.
It’s no surprise AIM and MSN Messenger were some of the internet's strongest lures in the '90s, while messaging apps like Whats App and LINE are persuading the next billion to get online today. There’s nothing complicated, confusing, or time consuming. Here are the best features in today's team chat apps, to help you pick the perfect tool for your company communications.
Slack's the 900 pound gorilla in the room, the team chat app you've most likely heard of and tried already.You can join multiple teams in Slack to keep your reading group, side project, and work chat all together in the same app. It a simple, fast way to stay in touch with your team without having to do everything inside your chat app.Hip Chat's built around Rooms for group chats, along with a list of People to directly message anyone on your team.Launched in mid 2013 by the team that built Flickr, it's become one of the most popular ways to chat in groups. Slack's built-in Slackbot tool can remind you of messages—or set a reminder about anything you need to remember.You can make it look how you want with deeply customizable themes.Rooms can be public or private with a stream of messages that work just like you'd expect in any other chat app like Messenger.You can even grab a link to invite someone from outside your company into any Room if you'd like, and they'll only see any messages posted to that room after you've invited them to chat.Chat is the primary way we talk to friends and family today. Today's best team chat apps help organize team conversations about multiple topics, search through your company archives to see if a question's already been answered, and speed up with with bots and integrations that bring apps into your chats. This article originally compared 11 team chat apps a few months after Slack was released.Today, over half of those apps are dead—and a dozen new apps have taken their place.And if a call would be easier, team chat apps often include conference calls, video chat, and screen-sharing.Team chat apps keep conversations organized into groups, often called channels or rooms.