This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
The best team communication apps integrate different modes of communication. From instant messaging and file sharing to video conferencing, they facilitate better collaboration among team members. When looking for the most suitable platform for your business, prioritize options that provide various chat modes, productivity tools, and integrations with other third-party tools to simplify workflows. They should be easy to use and have a visually appealing interface.
In this article, we evaluated dozens of platforms to arrive at the best team communication apps to help you decide which is right for your business:
- Microsoft Teams: Best overall team communication app for its rich feature set
- Slack: Best for seamless integrations with third-party tools
- Rocket.Chat: Best for streamlining social media customer service
- Flock: Best for automating workflows
- Spike: Best for simplifying email communications
- Chanty: Best for those looking for robust task management features
- Google Chat: Best for accommodating team’s video conferencing needs
Best Team Communication Apps at a Glance
Best Team Communication Apps
Monthly Starting Price per User
Key Chat Features
Other Collaboration Tools
Free; paid plans start at $4]
4.62 out of 5
Free; paid plans start at $7.25
4.12 out of 5
Free; paid plans start at $7 for a minimum of 25 users
4.09 out of 5
Free; paid plans start at $4.50
4.04 out of 5
Free; paid plans start at $5
3.96 out of 5
Free; paid plans start at $3
3.87 out of 5
Free; paid plans start at $6
3.76 out of 5
Microsoft Teams: Best Overall Team Communication App
*Plans are paid in full annually. Month-to-month contracts are not available.
With its robust feature set, the unified communications platform Microsoft Teams emerged as the best overall app in our evaluation. Its instant messaging features allow one-on-one, group, and self chats, as well as threaded conversations. With rich text editing, send messages with italics, highlights, and bullet points, allowing team members to follow conversations better. What’s more, it’s easy to send animated messages with GIFs, stickers, and emojis.
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. Learn more about other video conferencing features in our comprehensive Microsoft Teams review.
One problem with Microsoft Teams, however, is that some features are not intuitive. Thus, you need to look up how-to guides to maximize them. 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 and important announcements. This feature also delivers urgent notifications every two to 20 minutes.
- Schedule send: This feature is beneficial if you have an important message that is best delivered at a later date. Change the day and time in case you want to send it earlier or much later than the initial schedule.
Slack: Best for Its Seamless App Integrations
*Pricing above is based on annual billing. You can also choose a monthly billing option.
Slack is among those group communication apps leading in offering several third-party integrations. It integrates with over 2,500 tools, useful for design, marketing and sales, voice and video communications, human resources, analytics, and file management. It features apps that aren’t available in Microsoft Teams, including the entirety of Google Workspace.
What’s more, Slack connects to Microsoft products, including Outlook and OneDrive. It integrates seamlessly with Teams so that you’re able to start meetings right from Slack. Read our in-depth Slack review to learn more about its capabilities.
Take note, however, that when you adopt this technology, you’ll pay a lot more in annual subscriptions compared to its popular counterpart Microsoft Teams. And if you need a bigger participant capacity with 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. In the message box, type in your reminder, then hit “Create.” The Slackbot will remind you of the action you need to take at the date and time you set.
- Slack Connect: Work with partners, suppliers, customers, and other key external stakeholders. It’s as simple as creating a channel and adding people from outside your organization.
Rocket.Chat: Best for Improving Social Media Customer Service
*Pricing is based on annual billing.
Rocket.Chat is the ideal app for team communications focused on streamlining social media customer service, thanks to its omnichannel features that enable the distribution of inquiries among agents. The shared inbox containing all client communications offers visibility to all team members.
With one glance at the platform, you’ll find customer inquiries from Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp. It’s easy to strategize with the team on how to respond since everyone sees everything.
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 Workflow Automation
*Pricing is based on annual billing. You can also choose a monthly billing option.
Flock is the best communication app for businesses wanting to streamline different business operations with automated workflows. While Slack has a similar feature, Flock offers it at a more affordable cost. Through Flock’s Process Automation module, you’re able to help team members complete a new hire request, perform sales invoicing, execute vendor payments, and complete different kinds of business processes with little to no human intervention.
The process involves filling out necessary fields and identifying which department is responsible for facilitating the process. Then, you’ll design the form that team members will fill out to request the hiring of new employees or the payment of a certain supplier. By having tasks neatly organized for responsible teams, accommodating requests becomes more efficient.
One drawback you have to consider when choosing Flock as a team communication app is that the ability to manage channels is only available in the highest-tier plan. If that would be an issue for your team, we recommend using Chanty instead. The platform has advanced task management tools, and at the same time, offers the ability to manage channels in its Business Plan, which costs $3 a month, 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 slash 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.
Spike: Best for Its Collaborative Email Tools
*Pricing is based on annual billing, which offers 38% savings compared to the monthly billing option.
For taking the chaos out of email communications, Spike emerged as one of the best group chat apps in our evaluation. It converts the inbox into a chat-like environment, where you have better control of how you access emails. It has three conversation modes: the people mode (organizes emails by contacts), inbox mode (looks like the traditional inbox), and subject mode (arranges messages according to the subject line).
On top of that, the platform has a Priority tool, which separates important business messages from monthly newsletters. Spike further simplifies emails by removing repeating headers and signatures, so users only see the email content itself. An additional valuable feature is you get to see when the email is received and read.
While the email-turned-chat capability is excellent, Spike falls short in its video conferencing features. It only accommodates 10 participants, and the video call recording is only available in its highest-tier plan. If you have a bigger organization and the communication for teams largely happens in online meetings, it’s better to use Google Chat, which integrates seamlessly with Google Meet, accommodating up to 500 participants.
- Notes: Brainstorm ideas with colleagues and work on documents in real time without switching to another app. On Notes, you get to include not just text, but also different kinds of media like photos and videos.
- Tasks and to-do list: When you receive an email that needs an action point you can’t accommodate at the moment, create a task and set a reminder for it. Pin it to the top of your chat inbox so you’ll have a constant reminder of the to-dos.
- File preview: There’s no need to download email attachments to have them in full view. Spike’s advanced file preview feature works on different kinds of content, text documents, audio, video, and photo. Even large files are viewable right from the platform.
Chanty: Best for Its Advanced Task Management Solutions
*Pricing is based on annual billing, but you can also choose a monthly subscription.
**$3 per multiconversation guest
Chanty is a team communication app with excellent task management tools. It has extensive features for organizing projects, including task assignments, messaging threads, and the Kanban board. The Kanban board offers a good overview of the progress of individual tasks, as they are classified under To-Do, In Progress, and Done. Promoting easy collaboration further, Chanty allows team members to start a discussion within tasks.
The 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 multiconversation 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 and is billed on a monthly basis.
- 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 keep repeating information.
- Announcement mode: Direct everybody’s attention to important, time-sensitive messages. With announcement mode, only the admin will be able to send 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.
Google Chat: Best for Businesses That Host Video Meetings
*Plans are offered on an annual billing basis only.
Given that it’s part of the Google UCaaS platform, Google Chat has plenty of collaboration tools. Among team communication apps, it’s the best at providing advanced video conferencing features, as it accommodates up to 500 participants and has a 24-hour duration in online meetings. It allows teams to use digital whiteboarding, polling, question and answer, and breakout rooms, which are features that further enhance virtual collaboration.
The platform also wins as the best free team communication app, 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.
Maximize Google Workspace with these unified communications and collaboration tips. With these practices, you’ll improve work efficiency and customer satisfaction.
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. Set your time and date.
- Third-party apps: Connect your chat platform to different online tools to make work easier. Some of the third-party integrations available are Asana, Giphy, Jira, Salesforce, Zapier, and Zendesk.
How We Evaluated the Best Team Communication Apps
Many group communication apps in the market promise better collaboration among remote teams. But 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 considered the availability of a free trial since most small businesses look for this before adopting a new platform.
30% 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 were also part of our consideration, as these enhance the communication capabilities of the tools.
30% 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.
25% 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.
Team communication apps allow professionals to work seamlessly with each other and maintain productivity even with a remote setup. Among the providers in the market, Microsoft Teams comes out as the best from our evaluation.
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.