Chat Apps: the Best for Work
Corporate communication is always a challenge. While e-mails are our most traditional tool (and currently, still irreplaceable), many important messages get lost in overloaded inboxes. Also, e-mails aren't as quick as that urgent correction you need your colleague to make; or not as humanized as a call can be.
For those reasons, chat apps can be a good call for quicker, humanized communication.
Here are the best chat apps (and video chat apps) for work:
WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app today. There is a good chance everyone inside your company already has WhatsApp downloaded on their phone, which makes it much easier to contact, well, pretty much everyone.
WhatsApp is not meant for corporate use, so as useful as it may be for real-time messaging, its platform isn't safe for sensitive information. Another problem with using WhatsApp is that both personal and professional conversations will be gathered in the same app. In short, WhatsApp is a great complementary tool for communication, but it shouldn't be your first.
When to use: "hey Jim - please check your e-mail as soon as possible!"
Slack is a desktop-first platform that creates open channels for team communication. You can also message a colleague directly, share files and - its new feature - make video conferences.
Despite Slack's new features, we still think it's best for team use. Plus, it won't get as crowded as e-mail inboxes usually do.
When to use: quick team messaging.
Hangouts' main benefits rely on the fact that it is a Google application - if you're a Gmail user, it allows you to message colleagues without leaving your e-mail window.
Hangouts also features video conferencing. Pros and cons of video conferencing via Hangouts are actually quite similar: it's an advantage that you are already connected to your colleagues if they also use Gmail; but it's a disadvantage that you can't call someone that does not use Gmail.
When to use: "Mike, can you send me an invite to our meeting tomorrow?"
Kast allows you to create real-time communication channels and post video, audio, image and/or text. Its platform is completely secure, meaning any sensitive information can be shared inside the app.
You don’t even have to create an account: simply enter your work email, and you’re instantly connected to co-workers of the same company.
When to use: record an audio from your car to give your colleagues that important news; post videos with daily tips on productivity; send a picture of your newly launched product, etc.
Skype has been a favorite video conference app for a while now. You can chat on Skype, but it's not meant for messaging. Make video calls, regular calls, share screens, integrate with Facebook - all of that can be done via Skype.
When to use: Skype is ideal for meetings with out of the office employees, partners and prospects.
Do you use other chat apps for work? Let us know!