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Choosing a messenger app for business isn’t as easy as it might seem at first glance. Of course, you begin the search thinking that whatever you use for personal messaging in your daily life must be good enough, right?
But businesses aren’t personal daily life. Therefore, you need to consider a dozen extra factors, like integrations, performance, compatibility, affordability, subscription plans, and security. When Devtorium was working on choosing the best business messenger platform for our company, we conducted a detailed study to compare all the most popular options on the market. A team of our employees from different departments tested half a dozen apps for over a month. They assessed the platforms based on the following criteria:
Admittedly, some options we’ve studied are fun but not business-appropriate (Discord). Meanwhile, some don’t even rate a mention as their ‘ready to switch’ rate was so low (2.17% for Mattermost Pro). Yet none of this means that these messenger platforms are bad. It’s just that they don’t fit our specific business model.
Today we will share a detailed analysis of the top three messenger apps for business based on Devtorium’s in-house study.
Best Messenger App for Business: Comparison by the Devtorium Team
Slack: Best Overall Messenger App for Business
Slack is probably the most popular, and definitely the most well-known, messaging app for business, and with good reason. This app passed our functionality testing with flying colors. Moreover, its performance, compatibility, and usability testing proved the platform to be top-notch.
A few of our testers encountered some minor issues, but those were rare. Also, only a couple of people didn’t find this app intuitive and easy to use. However, ultimately, none of the employees using this app deemed it a failure or a wrong choice for any business.
During our investigation, the Devtorium team noticed some minor issues with:
- Authentication process
- Notification status (when the message is delivered/read/etc.)
- Notifications when a user joins or leaves a group chat
- Blocking contacts
Please bear in mind that those were only one-time minor inconveniences, not major issues that affected the app’s overall performance.
Overall, Slack proved to be an excellent messenger app for business on every level. Its performance is outstanding, and it can effectively integrate with Zoom and Google Drive. Therefore, conference calls and file sharing are never an issue. The best thing about it is that Slack is a rather flexible solution designed to meet the majority of business needs. In addition, it runs equally smoothly on all devices.
One of the biggest advantages of Slack as a messenger app for business is its flexibility for customization. For example, users can set up precise notification alerts, filter discussions by various parameters, edit messages, etc. Therefore, the user can set up the app in a way to maximize their personal productivity.
- High level of customization and personalization
- Effective integrations with popular third-party tools (e.g. Zoom, Google Drive, Asana, Dropbox, Outlook Calendar etc.)
- Stores conversation history that every member that joins the group can access
- Easy and smooth file sharing in real-time
- Good performance and stability across devices
- Occasional issues with the quality of calls
- Minor issues with notifications and statuses (rare)
- Quite expensive subscription plans (can be unfeasible for SMBs)
Google Chat: Google Workspace Messenger App for Businesses
If your company uses Google Workspace, choosing Google Chat as your messenger app for business makes sense. It’s efficient overall, its performance is good, and Google-backed security is excellent. Moreover, being a Google Service, it easily integrates with all other Google services and tools. Therefore, it’s reasonably easy to set up a communication and file-sharing infrastructure within your organization.
That said, almost 40% of Devtorium employees who tested business messenger platforms would prefer NOT to switch to Google Chat. This choice comes from the limitations of the app’s functionality and occasional issues with everything that isn’t a Google service.
All in all, our testers conclude that Google Chat is an excellent tool for short messages exchanged within the Workspace. However, it’s insufficient for multi-faceted international teams that need to exchange files, calls, videos, and feedback, all in real-time.
Perhaps, the main issue is that Google developed so many excellent but single-purpose tools. Therefore, its group-messaging solution lacks all the features that other tools have built-in from the start. So, it works well as an element of a comprehensive Workspace environment but not well enough to be an efficient stand-alone messaging app for business.
Don’t get us wrong, Google Chat is fantastic for use along with other Google services. It allows you to combine emails and chat and even set tasks managing your team’s calendars during the conversation. However, it’s not a stand-alone messenger app for business. In fact, it doesn’t even have a separate desktop/mobile app, only a web version that runs via the Google Chrome browser.
Google Chat Pros:
- Excellent integration with all Google Workspace services
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Connected to Gmail, which allows conversing via chat and email within groups
Google Chat Cons:
- Only really useful as a part of Google Workspace
- No Reply feature, which makes communication difficult, especially in groups
- Only web app available
Rocket Chat Messenger App for Business
In essence, Rocket Chat, as it is today, is an approximation of Slack. It’s similar in UI and functionality, leaving the user with a similar feel. That said, it’s still not Slack-level technology.
For all that it passed all functional tests our team put the solution through, only about 2% of people were ready to switch to this app. First of all, it’s because, as a messenger app for business, it’s really not cost-efficient. At the minimum, you will need to pay $7 a month per user (no less than 25 users). The free version of the app has limited notifications and functionality, so it’s not very useful even for a small business.
There are some distinctions in the package offering depending on whether you install Rocket Chat on your company’s server or use Rocket’s resources. However, both options end up being quite expensive.
In addition, the app has fewer robust features and integrations compared to Slack. There are also some issues with updating the app. Therefore, it can eventually become a security risk. In addition, it’s not intuitive in some cases, especially with the newer features.
Rocket Chat Pros:
- Similar to Slack in design and functionality
- Has a versatile collection of features and integrations
- Can be installed on the company’s servers directly
Rocket Chat Cons:
- Expensive overall, considering its limited functionality when compared to Slack
- Issues with updating the solution to a newer version
- Not intuitive in some features
- Quote a message feature isn’t particularly easy to use
Bottom Line: What is the Best Messenger App for Business?
After evaluating some of the leading messenger apps for business, the Devtorium team came to the conclusion that the best option overall is Slack. Of all the platforms on the market, it has the most robust functionality and can easily integrate with all other solutions your business uses today.
However, we’d like to note that every top platform on the market has many strong points. Therefore, every business should explore the pros and cons of each option after considering its unique needs.
Moreover, with how fast AI technology is advancing right now, we are sure that we’ll soon see a messenger app for business that uses AI-powered tools in some fashion. We’re looking forward to this. Are you?