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The 9 Best Team Chat/Communication Apps in 2024

The 9 Best Team Chat/Communication Apps in 2024

Judy Tsuei
Writer
November 3, 2021
Updated on:
July 3, 2024

The 9 Best Team Chat/Communication Apps in 2024
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Long gone are the days when a team messaging app was nice to have. The modern team demands it, whether you’re a team of two or 2,000 — especially since the rise in remote and distributed work. But with new apps and tools popping up nearly every day, how do you cut through the noise and pick the right one?

We’re here to help. If you want to optimize your team’s communication (which will, in turn, optimize every other aspect of your work), keep reading for the best team communication apps in 2024.

Some apps make it easy to work out of a single platform by combining team chat with video conferencing, project management, cloud storage, and more. These tools are ideal for people who prefer not to have their work scattered across multiple apps. Other chat apps keep it simple by doing one thing and doing it really well — perfect for those who prefer to keep instant messaging separate from their other activities.

Think about what problems you’re looking to solve and how you and your team members like to work, keeping in mind that many companies offer free trials so you can always give it a spin before you commit.

Note: This article is only meant to narrow down your choices and point you in the right direction. For a more comprehensive breakdown of what each app has to offer (as well as the most up-to-date pricing), visit the appropriate websites — links are below!

Best free team chat apps

Google Chat

Google Chat, previously known as Hangouts Chat, is a standout choice if you want core communication features in a clean interface. Google Chat is free for personal use and also available with a paid Google Workspace account for professional use.

In Google Chat, you have two main ways to communicate: direct messages (DMs) and spaces. DMs are for 1:1 or group instant messaging, while spaces are designed for communication focused on specific projects. Other notable features include GIFs, emojis, reactions, and rich text formatting. As a Google product, Chat also works incredibly well with other Google Workspace apps like Gmail and Calendar.

Google Chat is free for personal plans and comes with limited features. Google Workspace starts at $6 per user per month for the Business Starter plan.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams for chatting
Image source: Microsoft

For teams who are already using Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams is a natural choice for easing communication along. It includes 1:1 and group chats, video calls (which you can launch straight from your chat window), file sharing, and more.

Packed with features and productivity app integrations, Microsoft Teams makes it easy to connect and collaborate with your colleagues — even within a free personal plan.

Microsoft Teams is free. Unlock premium features by subscribing to Microsoft Teams Essentials for $4 per user per month. Or, subscribe to Microsoft 365 for $6 per user per month, and gain access to the entire Microsoft 365 family (including Teams).

Slack

Slack chat for teams
Image source: Slack

As a team communication app, Slack strikes a balance between functionality and simplicity. It offers different ways of communicating: messaging, live voice calls called “huddles,” and audio/video clips. You can even collaborate with members outside of your Slack workspace — perfect for external communication with clients and partners.

The Slack platform is organized by conversation or “channel,” making for a clean, intuitive interface. However, it offers so much more than just messaging. Your hybrid or remote team will appreciate handy collaboration features like integrations, file sharing, searchable message history, screen sharing, conversation threading, and more.

Pro tip: Slack integrates with Clockwise, your AI calendar assistant. Use this integration to automatically sync your calendar to your Slack status, send scheduling requests in natural language, and receive daily forecasts of your day.

Slack integrates with Clockwise Scheduling
Integrate Slack with Clockwise to automatically keep your status up to date with your calendar

Beyond the limited free plan, Slack offers Pro, Business+, and Enterprise Grid plans. Pro costs $8.75 per user per month, and is discounted at $4.38 for the first three months.

Flock

Flock is an app that merges communication and collaboration in one platform. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something that’s simple but also includes light project management capabilities. Communication features include 1:1 chat, group chat, channels, video calls with screen sharing, and search.

You can invite external users into your workspace with limited access. Plus, create tasks from your conversations.

The free version of Flock works for teams of 1-20 people and includes core features. Beyond that, the Pro plan costs $4.50 per user per month and works great for teams of 20-100. For teams of 100 and more, contact Flock for a direct quote.

Zoom

Image source: Zoom

If we weren’t convinced of its value before 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic certainly cemented Zoom as a leader in virtual communication.

Zoom centralizes team communication by combining video conferencing and chat while maintaining a really simple interface. What we love about Zoom is that it brings all of your team’s communication methods under one roof — the perfect solution for those looking for a more streamlined workflow. Other features include HD video and audio, generative AI, drag-and-drop file sharing, searchable history, the ability to record and transcribe meetings, screen sharing, and more.

Beyond Zoom’s free plan, pricing starts at $13.32 per user per month.

Best paid team chat apps

Basecamp

If you’re looking for an all-in-one app for everything related to project management, collaboration, and communication — allow us to introduce you to Basecamp. Basecamp streamlines work by eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication, time-zapping status meetings, switching between different apps, and much more.

Basecamp offers three different communication tools: Message Board, Campfire, and Pings. As Basecamp shares: Message Board replaces email, Campfire is best for real-time chat within a project, and Pings are DMs unrelated to a project.

Basecamp starts at $15 per user per month. Plus, large teams can leverage Basecamp’s Pro Unlimited plan, which starts at $299 per month for unlimited users. It’s a fixed price, no matter how many people are on your team.

Troop Messenger

Like Slack, Troop Messenger is a team chat app that doesn’t venture off into project management territory. It deserves a spot on this list for its extensive chat-based features and affordable price.

Troop Messenger lets your team communicate via 1:1 and group messaging with an option called “forkout,” which is the ability to send a message to multiple people without creating a group chat. There’s also “burnout,” which enables conversations to self-destruct after a certain period, thereby protecting confidential information.

Additional features include audio messaging, file sharing, screen sharing, read receipts, and more. However, integrations are very limited.

The Premium plan runs for $2.50 per user per month; Enterprise runs for $5 per user per month; Superior runs for $9 per user per month.

Ryver

Like Flock, Ryver combines team communication with task management. Communication happens in three places:

  • Forums — across the entire company or organization
  • Teams — groups of people
  • People — 1:1

Within these spaces, conversation is further broken down into chat (great for quick one-off messages), topics (for focused conversations), and tasks (actionable items).

There’s also file sharing, video conferencing with screen sharing, and scalability.

Pricing plans are dependent on how many team members you have. For teams of up to 12, Ryver costs $69 a month. For teams of up to 30, it costs $129 a month. Lastly, for 30+ users, Ryver costs $4 per user per month.

Hive

Image source: Hive

Hive is our top pick for those who are looking for a more comprehensive solution for team collaboration and project management. In one platform, you can track the progress of your team’s projects, automate workflows, send and receive emails via Gmail or Outlook, and much more.

Hive’s chat feature allows for 1:1 or group messages, plus you can even share actions and files within a chat message. If you’re looking for a great all-around app to support your distributed team, check out Hive!

After the free plan, pricing starts at $5 per user per month.

Key takeaway

The modern person (a.k.a. you!) may be looking at apps galore when it comes to team communication. Before you fall down the rabbit hole of researching and test-driving the dozens of apps out there, our biggest suggestion is that you refine your search by thinking about the pain points you want to address.

Tired of switching between apps to send a message to your colleague? Is email just not cutting it? Take a spell to think your team’s needs through, then choose an app based on those priorities.

Happy chatting!

About the author

Judy Tsuei

Judy Tsuei is a Simon & Schuster author, speaker, and podcast host. She has been writing for Clockwise for several years while also being featured in MindBodyGreen, BBC Travel, Fast Company, Hello Giggles, and more. As the founder of Wild Hearted Words, a creative marketing agency for global brands, Judy is also a mentor with the Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed accelerator. Judy advocates for mental and emotional health on her popular podcast, F*ck Saving Face. Follow along her journey at WildHeartedWords.com.

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