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What is Instant Messaging?

What is Instant Messaging?

Communication is the key to the success of any business. Whether it is internal communication or external, it needs to be set up properly within a secure environment. Instant messaging (IM) has been an industry standard business communication mode. This article will discuss the top 10 instant messaging apps for businesses to keep you updated with the latest market trends.

What is Instant Messaging?

Whenever the term “instant messaging” is invoked, it means the ability to chat with people online in real-time or near real-time. In simple words, through instant messages, people can hold conversations like they are in the same physical space. While the term “instant messaging” has become a synonym for text messaging, it can also include voice and video messages.

Although instant messaging platforms are mostly used by users daily, they are also essential for businesses. Using these apps, businesses can structure internal and external communications to varying degrees of standards. With the communication standards already in place, it becomes easier for companies to add new people and parameters.

Top 10 Instant Messaging Apps for Business

Choosing a suitable instant messaging app for your business can be challenging due to the number of available options. What you need to remember is your needs, what features the target app has, and how secure it is when choosing an instant messaging app. To save you the trouble of going through each app, we have listed the top 10 instant messaging apps below:

1. Microsoft Teams

microsoft teams

Considered to be the best tool for large companies and organizations, Microsoft Teams is an excellent choice for an instant messaging app. It is a team collaboration platform that enables users to communicate in real time, share files, and hold meetings. This app has over 200 integrations, one of which is MS Office 365. As a result, you can open and modify MS Office documents within the app.

You can download the app stand-alone or get it with your Office 365 subscription. Additionally, Microsoft Teams is also a secure platform with security features like multi-factor authentication, data encryption, private chats, etc.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web

2. Slack


Started as an internal communication tool for his company by Stewart Butterfield, Slack has become a common name in businesses. It offers features like direct messaging, voice and video calls, and screen sharing to enhance communication between different teams and their members. On Slack, users primarily collaborate by creating channels for specific tasks or projects.

It also includes a strong search function for users to look for any message, file, or other information in their channels. Moreover, Slack also supports integrations for numerous third-party apps and tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello, etc.

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, Web

3. Rocket.Chat

instant messaging apps

It is an open-source instant messaging platform with over 12 million users worldwide. Rocket.Chat offers features like text messaging, audio and video calls, screen sharing, team polling, and many more. Moreover, you can also integrate a wide range of services, like Zapier, Jira, Zoom, and others, with it. In this app, users are able to communicate by starting channels or discussions.

Rocket.Chat has both free and paid subscription packages and is highly scalable and customizable. Since it is an open-source app, you can tailor it to suit your needs.

Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Web

4. Discord


While primarily created for gamers, Discord has established itself as the go-to platform for businesses and communities regarding communications. The ability to create and join servers, which are like virtual spaces, has been a strong and widely admired feature of Discord. In these servers, users can create channels and communicate through text, voice, and video chat.

Apart from chatting features, it also allows users to share files and links, add multiple integrations, set up user roles, and do much more. While it is free, people can buy paid subscriptions for boosters, customization, etc.

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Web

5. Flock

Designed to be a suitable platform for team collaboration, Flock is an excellent choice for internal business communication. It offers a multitude of features, including text, voice and video chat, private and public channels, voice notes, reminders, etc. Furthermore, you can also create automated mail lists in the app, even for a specific channel.

Flock can also integrate with other apps and services like Google Drive, GitHub, Trello, Asana, and many others. It is available in both free and paid tiers, with most features in the paid tier.

Compatibility: iOS, Android, Chrome, macOS, Windows, Linux, Web

6. WhatsApp


The most used instant messaging app in the world, WhatsApp is the best choice for external communications in business. It is popular in almost every country and has billions of users. Additionally, the app is available for free and also has a version called WhatsApp Business aimed at businesses. This app allows users to text chat, share files, make voice calls, video conference, etc.

WhatsApp also includes features like communities, groups, and forwarded messages. While the maximum number of users per group is low, it is still an excellent choice for small to mid-range businesses.

Compatibility: Android, iOS, KaiOS, macOS, Windows, Web

7. WeChat

After WhatsApp, WeChat is the world’s second-most-used instant messaging app. It has around 1 billion users, though most of them are from China. The fact that it is most popular in China doesn’t diminish its amazing features. With this app, your employees will be able to communicate through text, voice, and video chats.

For team collaboration, WeChat also provides video and voice conferencing features. As far as the concerns regarding data security, the app assures that communications are end-to-end encrypted.

Compatibility: iOS, Android, HarmonyOS, Windows, macOS, Web

8. Signal

If the privacy of your business communications is your real concern, then you should opt for Signal. It was founded to be the most secure app for users where they don’t have to worry about their data. Since a non-profit organization runs it, the app is free and has no paid subscriptions or ads. When using this app, users can communicate through text, voice, and video chats.

While it does have a group chat feature, the maximum number of users is 1000 per group. For sensitive messages, users can also set a disappearing timer.

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android

9. Telegram

Although the original Telegram is long dead, the Telegram app is very much alive and soaring to new heights. It has been popular due to many of its features, like voice, video, and text chats, with end-to-end encryption. In addition to individual and group chats, Telegram also has a feature called channels. These channels are basically public groups with a lot of users.

It means you can use Telegram to inform users about essential modifications and official announcements. With this app, users can also set messages to delete after a certain amount of time automatically. It makes holding sensitive or private conversations on Telegram risk-free.

Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web

10. Skype


More famous for its video call features, Skype has been in use by businesses for both internal and external communication. It probably has the best video chat feature in this list. Moreover, it also allows users to make voice calls, send instant messages, screen share, and share files. Along with connecting people on the internet, it also supports calling landline phone numbers.

Skype is popular with both individuals and businesses for communication purposes. Furthermore, it also ensures that all your communications are end-to-end encrypted using public encryption techniques.

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, iPadOS, Amazon Kindle Fire HD/HDX, Web

You may also like: Top 10 Encrypted Messaging Apps

What are the advantages and disadvantages of instant messaging?

Instant messaging (IM) has become a fundamental communication tool in both personal and professional contexts, offering several advantages but also presenting certain disadvantages. Here’s a look at both sides:

Advantages of Instant Messaging

  1. Real-time Communication: IM allows users to exchange messages in real-time, facilitating immediate responses and making conversations flow more naturally compared to email or other forms of digital communication.
  2. Convenience: With instant messaging, users can communicate from anywhere at any time, provided they have internet access. This makes it incredibly convenient for quick questions, updates, or decisions.
  3. Cost-effective: Most IM services are free or have a very low cost, especially when compared to traditional communication methods like phone calls, especially international ones.
  4. Enhances Collaboration: In a work setting, IM can enhance collaboration among team members, allowing for easy sharing of ideas, quick feedback, and efficient coordination of tasks.
  5. Supports Multitasking: Users can engage in IM conversations while working on other tasks, making it a flexible way to communicate without significantly disrupting productivity.
  6. File Sharing and Integration: Many IM platforms allow for the sharing of files, links, and even integration with other productivity tools, streamlining work processes and information exchange.

Disadvantages of Instant Messaging

  1. Distraction: IM can be a significant source of distraction, interrupting work or other activities with constant notifications and the temptation to engage in non-essential conversations.
  2. Miscommunication: The lack of non-verbal cues and sometimes hurried nature of IM can lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretation of tone, potentially causing confusion or offense.
  3. Security and Privacy Concerns: Sensitive information shared over IM can be at risk if the platform isn’t secure. Moreover, there’s the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to private conversations.
  4. Informality: The casual nature of IM can lead to a decline in professionalism, especially in work environments, with users sometimes forgetting to maintain a professional tone or using inappropriate language.
  5. Overload: The ease of sending messages can lead to information overload, where users find themselves overwhelmed by the volume of messages they receive and need to respond to.
  6. Dependence on Technology: Relying heavily on IM for communication can lead to reduced face-to-face interactions, potentially impacting interpersonal relationships and social skills.

How to Build Your Own Instant Messaging App

Are you not satisfied with any of the apps mentioned above? Why not build an app to suit and comprehend the needs of your business? If the thing stopping you from developing an app is the long development time and cost, you no longer need to worry. With ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK, you can quickly create your dream instant messaging app with minimal cost.

zegocloud adds chat feature

You will get a wide range of messaging features using the ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK. These features include real-time messaging, group chat, push notifications, typing indicators, message status updates, etc. Moreover, it is also fully compatible with all available platforms. For example, you can build instant messaging apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and the Web.

Exceptional Features Provided by ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK

The long list of amazing and unique features makes ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK a must-use development tool. To prove our point, summarized below are some key features:

1. Quick & Easy Integration

The whole purpose of opting for an API or SDK is to minimize the development effort and time. So, the API or SDK you choose should be the best. ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK will ensure you don’t face any issues during their integration process. To help you out, it offers detailed documentation, guides, tutorials, FAQs, and robust tech support.

2. Complete Customization

Given the number of instant messaging apps in the market, your platform must top every metric to stand out. So, the API or SDK you use should be flexible and customizable to the degree that it can suit your business ideas. That’s where ZEGOCLOUD provides complete development control. Besides, it also offers pre-made customizable UIkits to get you a solid beginning.

3. Scalability

Whether you develop an instant messaging app for your business or as a product, it should be highly scalable. To put it simply, your app should be able to expand or contract with the business. Using ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK will give your instant messaging platform that capability. Since it is a solution for all ranges of businesses, your app will become successful.

4. Real-Time Messaging

While it seems like a common feature in every app, it is very important. By real-time in-app messaging, we don’t mean the ability to send live messages; what matters is the time it takes. If there is even the slightest lag, it can ruin the whole tempo of the conversation. To avoid such situations at all costs, ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK ensure ultra-low latency levels at just 200ms.


To sum this article up, instant messaging for business is really important. It makes communication much easier and faster. If you run a business, employing an instant messaging platform for both internal and external communication can be highly productive. On the other hand, you can also build a custom instant messaging solution for your business via ZEGOCLOUD In-app Chat API & SDK.

zegocloud chat sdk api

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