What do you do when there’s work to be done, email communication simply doesn’t cut it anymore and tapping your colleagues on the shoulder is not the ideal solution for communicating in the office?
You use a free team messaging app to collaborate with your team.
With email becoming clunky and outdated and the need for rapid, instant communication at work, the market for team chat apps is ever-growing.
However, with so many options out there, making the right choice can seem impossible. Pricing, the number of users, integrations, searchable history, these are all elements to consider when making a choice for your team.
To make the process a bit easier, we’ve singled out some of the best team chat apps out there with our honest feedback. These are some of the best workplace chat apps out there and we hope we’ll make it easier on you to make a good choice. Let’s dig in!
Slack: The biggest team chat app
Obviously, no comparison of workplace chat apps can go without the heavyweight champion, Slack. With more than 8 million daily users (3 million paid), it’s the most widely used chat app for workplaces around the world. Based on sheer numbers alone, Slack seems to be winning the chat app game (so far).
The good stuff: The presence. If your workplace is just about to introduce Slack, chances are, most of your workforce is already familiar with how it works. On top of this, Slack has hundreds of integrations to make it into a communication/productivity powerhouse.
Then there are the integrations. While there is a metric ton of them, the free plan only allows for 10 at a time. Once you cover the basics (Google Drive, a project management app, a productivity app, etc.), you’ll go through those 10 in a heartbeat.
Another downside is that audio and video calls are only available between two users at a time on the free plan. If you have frequent video calls or conferences, you’ll be either forced to upgrade or move on to a platform such as Zoom or Appear.in.
Slack pricing: $6.67 per user per month when billed annually for the Standard plan or $12.50 for the Plus plan. There’s a free plan which has the basic functionalities but comes with some limitations.
Chanty: The affordable calling team chat app
Looking to disrupt the team chat app market, we launched Chanty as a Slack alternative that would do everything that Slack does (but better) and offer some cool features that other app doesn’t offer. Having launched out of beta, Chanty is looking to take Slack’s crown as the next big workplace chat app.
The good stuff: Aiming to take a cut of Slack’s market, Chanty is fixing everything that Slack’s users don’t like. This means unlimited messages in the free plan (for up to 10 users), unlimited searchable history and 10GB of storage per free user. I may be a bit subjective here, but Chanty’s search option is much cleaner and faster than Slack’s as well.
Chanty pricing: At $3 per user per month (paid annually), Chanty is looking to stir up the team chat app market with the most affordable complete offer out there. On a paid plan, you get 20GB of space per user, along with unlimited integrations and unlimited audio and video calls and screen sharing (once these options are live).
This makes Chanty the most affordable option by far for teams which want their calling bundled into their chat app.
Typetalk: The best value team chat app
Often affordability means some kind of reduction in services, but not with Typetalk. As one of the Nulab products along with Cacoo and Backlog, Typetalk represents power at surprisingly low prices relative to the market. The Nulab suite does feel like it was initially intended as a specialist tool for developers, which is now opening up to an increasingly tech-savvy market.
The good: Typetalk comes with all the features you would expect from a team chat app. You can chat by topic, with groups or threads, and in direct messages. You can add outside users as guests while carefully controlling their permissions. You can customize your notifications to reduce the overwhelming feel chat apps can have when so many people are communicating in them at once.
All these things along with drag and drop file sharing, strong admin controls, powerful search, and open API access makes Typetalk a powerful piece of kit.
However, that said, we know Cacoo recently announced it had added a native integration with Zapier and also with some other Microsoft tools – so perhaps Typetalk will see this added to their feature set soon.
Typetalk pricing: This is where Typetalk really nails it. Typetalk has a free plan which contains all the features you would expect. But it also has a progressive pricing system which starts at $2 per month per user when billed monthly. Given all the features and the fact it’s cross-platform including iOS and Android, this is pretty crazy. At 15 users the price per user goes below $2 and continues to drop as you hit more user milestones. And on top of all of this, if you pay annually you get a 2 month discount – you only pay for 10 months. It really feels like the best value team chat app out there.
Flock: The competitor team chat app
Launched in 2014, Flock is just a year younger than Slack, so it got into the market early enough to take some of Slack’s market. Since then, they’ve been working hard to prove themselves and grab a piece of the team chat app market. They also have an interface in Spanish and Portuguese.
The good: Flock is generally faster to load and use than Slack, according to speed tests and our team’s experience. The free package has unlimited integrations and one-to-one video calls.
Flock pricing: The Pro plan is $4.5 per user per month when paid annually. Although this is cheaper than Slack, it’s still not the cheapest option out there. If you have a large team, you can contact Flock for the Enterprise plan and get special pricing.
Fleep: The email-ish team chat app
Think of Fleep like a platform between a team chat app and an email client. In fact, unlike the rest of the tools mentioned here, it’s probably better to think of it as a Skype alternative and not Slack. It allows you to message any person out there, as long as they have a Fleep account. If you want to have your own team (like a Slack workspace), you can do that as well – but it’s a paid option.
In this way, you can have a single Fleep account and be a member of different conversations, projects, and teams, instead of making a separate account for each new workspace.
The good: It combines email and chat in an easy-to-use way. It’s excellent if you communicate with different teams and don’t want 30 different accounts. The number of conversations and message history are both unlimited.
Fleep pricing: There is only one paid plan and it starts at 5€ per user per month. For larger teams, there is an Enterprise plan, which is available upon inquiry.
Microsoft Teams: The Office user’s team chat app
Coming from the folks who built Windows, we had high expectations from Microsoft Teams. If you’re a Microsoft user already using Office 365, this is a great addition as it seamlessly integrates with other Office apps. If you’re dependent on Word, Excel and other apps a lot, this could be the team chat app for you.
The bad: Oh boy. Our experience at Chanty is that you don’t get Microsoft Teams unless you have nerves of steel. Setting up takes hours and requires a specific email and some very knowledge in advanced tech – not everyone can install it on their own. In other words, the user experience leaves much to be desired.
Pricing: There are three plans – Free, Business Essentials ($5 per user per month) and Business Premium ($12.50). The free package on its own is great, with 300 maximum users and essentially all features of the paid plans. The file storage limit on the free plan is 2GB per user, while the Essentials plan gives as much as 1TB per user. All in all, Microsoft Teams seems to provide the best value for money spent.
Ryver: The project-focused team chat app
Launched in 2015, Ryver is one of the youngest and “coolest” Slack alternatives. Putting a huge focus on project management, Ryver aims to connect the experience of a team chat app and a PM tool in one place, for a great collaboration experience.
The good: The task manager works and it’s a welcome addition to the usual chat options that other apps offer. The native integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox and Box are excellent since most users will require at least one of them.
Speaking of payments, Ryver’s pricing is rather debatable. The starter plan is $49 per month for up to 12 users, while the Unlimited plan is $99 per month, for an unlimited number of users, of course. So, what if you have fewer than 12 users, or slightly more than 12? The pricing plans lack flexibility and really make sense if you have just under 12 users or anywhere more than 30-40 to go for the Unlimited plan. In other words, the more users you have, the better bang for your buck you get.
Pricing: Besides the Starter and Unlimited plans, there’s an Enterprise plan at $399 per month, which comes with workflow automation, Single Sign-On, premium support and advanced team management. Whether that’s worth an extra $300 per month, it’s your call.