8 best messaging apps for business in 2023

Effective communication is a crucial part of all successful businesses. Messaging apps for business can simplify operations and improve collaboration, especially for teams working from different locations. 

With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to know which one works best for your business needs. That’s why we put together our top eight picks for the best team communication apps to try in 2023.

What are messaging apps for business?

Business messaging apps are software programs that allow you to talk with your colleagues privately or in groups over the internet. Some of these apps offer additional tools that make communicating and collaborating with your team easier. 

These features can include live video chats, managing tasks, and sharing documents that you can edit together in real-time. Just keep in mind that the specific features you get depend on the app you choose to use.

Features to look for in a messaging app

1. Cross-device availability

Your staff members probably all have different types of mobile phones and smart devices, so your employee messaging app needs to be compatible with all the most popular operating systems. At an absolute minimum, it should be easy to download onto Apple iOS and Android phones.

2. Affordable pricing

Small businesses have tight profit margins. So you need an app that’s either free or affordably priced.

Some messaging apps may offer extra frills and features like video calls, custom emojis, and GIFs. These are nice to have, but often come at an extra cost. And because your staff members work in fast-paced environments, they’re not likely to have their hands free to enjoy them.

Instead, it’s better to choose a team communication app like Homebase that offers all the essentials small businesses need at a lower cost. 

3. Privacy and security

Given that you might need to send sensitive information within your messaging app, make sure you choose secure software. 

You don’t want any unintended recipients to get a hold of documents with your team’s personal information or bank details, so always look for end-to-end encryption.

Privacy concerns

Also, consider your staff members’ privacy concerns and preferences. Certain employees may not want to share their contact details with their colleagues  — especially if they’re new hires and don’t know anyone very well. 

So an app that doesn’t display your team members’ emails or phone numbers publicly may be a popular choice.

4. Instant messaging

A great business messaging app should support different types of instant chats. For instance, small business owners and managers need to be able to message:

  • Individuals to discuss their duties or challenges they might be facing.
  • Groups according to shifts, roles, and locations.
  • The entire team for general updates and announcements.
  • Other managers to coordinate running the business.

Not to mention, staff should be able to message each other freely to arrange shift swapping or coordinate tasks. And unlike SMS messages or phone calls, instant messages with an app like Homebase don’t cost a thing, provided your staff are connected to WiFi.

5. Integrations

The best messaging apps offer everything you need within one platform or have a wide variety of integrations with other essential platforms. As a small business owner, you’re probably looking for a messaging app that combines tools for:

Messaging apps with built-in integrations save you time because you don’t have to constantly switch between devices, apps, and windows. And better yet, you reduce the errors you make transferring data from things like your manager log book from one platform to another.

6. Multimedia options 

Depending on your business needs, you may need a messaging app that supports forms of communication other than just text. Most small businesses can benefit from:

  • Fire sharing to instantly send vital documents, like those related to hiring and onboarding.
  • Image sharing to clarify information or provide visual references or aids.

But think just as carefully about what multimedia options you don’t need. More features mean slower loading speeds, screens that feel cluttered, and a steeper learning curve. 

That’s a lot of hassle when your staff can’t even play voice or video messages on your shop floor. 

7. Reminders and alerts

Reminders and alerts help keep everyone organized without requiring any extra time and effort. You can set them up to nudge your staff members about important events, training sessions, or daily tasks like clocking in and out. 

And if you’re using an all-in-one solution like Homebase, you can even sync your team’s alerts and reminders with your employee scheduling. That means your alerts will get updated automatically whenever you adjust your staff members’ shifts or working hours. 

8. Announcements and shoutouts

Sometimes you need to send your entire team an important message, but there’s a risk it’ll get lost in the group chat. An announcement feature lets you pin your message somewhere visible for as long as it needs to be there.

The same goes for shoutouts. Praise is a powerful motivational tool, so your staff thank you messages need to stand out. You can be sure everyone will see your shoutouts if you use a messaging app with a feature that lets you post wins to a central dashboard.

8 best messaging apps for business in 2023

1. Best all-in-one solution: Homebase

Homebase is a HR and team management platform  designed for small businesses. It has features like team communications, time clock, scheduling, payroll, and hiring and onboarding solutions.

Top features

One of the key features of Homebase is its team communication app, which allows for individual and group messaging. It also integrates with other Homebase tools like the time clock and scheduling app. You can also use it for file sharing and creating in-app notes. Plus, there’s a shoutouts feature to promote positive workplace culture

Pros and cons.

The biggest advantage of Homebase is that it’s highly cost-efficient since you pay per location, not per user. However, while basic access, including individual and group messaging, is free, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan to access the full range of features.


Homebase offers three pricing tiers, starting at $20 per location per month and going up to $80 per location per month for the all-in-one plan. This plan includes features like new hire onboarding and labor cost insights. Overall, Homebase is an excellent choice for small businesses looking for an all-in-one team management platform.

2. Best for project-based businesses: Flock

If you’re looking for an online collaboration tool with messaging capabilities, Flock is a great option. It offers a variety of features to help improve team communication, productivity, and security.

Top Features:

  • Advanced search: Flock lets you add filters to your searches, making it easy to find messages that include specific words, senders, or channels.
  • Channel messaging: You can create topic-based channels with Flock, so you can organize conversations and avoid mixing up multiple subjects in one place, similar to popular tools like Slack.
  • In-app to-do list: With Flock, you can create and prioritize tasks for yourself and other team members, add reminders, and reorganize your pending tasks according to priority.

Pros and Cons:

Flock is a comprehensive and secure tool that allows private conversations at both the individual and channel level. The task management tab is particularly useful for staying on top of pending tasks and can even automate to-do lists or send information to CRMs. 

However, it may not be the best option for small businesses, as it’s designed for corporate and project-oriented businesses. Additionally, the message storage is limited to 10GB per team member on the pro version.


If you’re interested in Flock, they offer a free plan with some limitations. Then, prices start at $4.50 per user per month for more advanced features. Custom pricing is available for enterprise plans.

Overall, Flock is a great option for those looking for a team messaging app with several features that can improve communication, productivity, and security. However, it may not be the best choice for small businesses.

3. Best for instant messaging: Slack

Staying connected with your coworkers is essential, especially for remote teams. Instant messaging is a great way to communicate, and Slack is one of the leading collaboration platforms that bring in-office and remote workers together.

Top Features

  • Real-time updates and asynchronous work
  • Contact anyone within or outside your organization
  • Hashtags to manage teams and organize multiple projects
  • One-to-one and group chat functions
  • Separate public and private channels to streamline communication
  • Drag-and-drop file sharing or direct upload from your drive
  • Workflow Builder to automate routine tasks without coding knowledge
  • Audio and video call functions for spontaneous conversations

Pros and Cons:

One of the biggest pros of Slack is that it brings in-office and remote workers together. It offers many features, such as real-time updates, asynchronous work, and custom workflows, that can streamline communication and improve productivity. 

On the downside, the free version has some limitations, and it may not be the best option for small businesses with a limited budget.


Slack’s free version gives you access to 10 third-party integrations like Google Drive and Office 365, 1:1 audio calls and video calls with screen sharing, and 90 days of message history. The paid plans start at $7.25 per month if billed annually.

4. Best for Google Workspace users: Google Chat

Google Chat is a versatile communication and collaboration platform that lets you chat, send GIFs, share files, and invite colleagues to jump on a Google Meet meeting with just one click. It’s available from a web browser or mobile device, making it easy to stay in touch with your team wherever you are.

Top features

  • Spaces: Create separate group conversations and make them private or public to people with your business domain. You can also answer messages in threads to make conversations more organized.
  • Integrations: Google Chat integrates natively with Drive and Meet, so you can continue the conversation by editing a document live or hopping on calls from the chat tab. You can even chat in real-time on a tab on the document or show them what you mean on a video call.
  • Schedule meetings: Since it integrates with Google Calendar, you can invite people to meetings immediately or at a future date directly from your chat app.

Pros and cons

Google Chat is a straightforward messaging tool that’s easy to use and free to all Google users. However, it falls short compared to other comprehensive team communication apps like Homebase or Slack because of its limited features. 

Plus, you need to have a Google account and use its suite of products to make the most out of this tool.

Google Chat’s simplicity and seamless integration with other Google apps can make it a useful tool for businesses looking for a basic messaging platform. However, for those in need of more advanced features, other options may be more suitable.


Google Chat is part of Google Workspace, so you get it for free as soon as you pay for your business domain. This solution is free to individuals, and Workspace plans range from $6-18 per user per month. Enterprise plans are available on a custom quote.

5. Best for productivity messaging: Trello

If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to manage your team’s productivity, Trello is a fantastic option. This user-friendly platform has over 50 million users and allows you to organize any project or task into boards and cards for easy access.

Top Features

  • Trello is a visual work management tool that allows you to organize projects or tasks into boards and cards for easy access.
  • You can customize Trello cards and assign tasks to team members.
  • Trello facilitates team communication with its commenting and updating status features.
  • Trello integrates with Slack to keep team members up-to-date on productivity changes.
  • The Butler Automation feature allows you to automate actions on Trello boards with just one click.

Pros and cons

When it comes to pros and cons, Trello’s simplicity is its greatest strength. However, this also means that it may not have as many features as other comprehensive team communication apps like Homebase or Slack. A

Additionally, while the free version is powerful, some businesses may need to upgrade to access more advanced features.


Trello offers a free version with unlimited cards, up to 10 boards per Workspace, built-in automation, Trello templates, and more. If you need premium features, paid plans start at $5 per month if billed annually.

6. Best for hourly employees at desk-based jobs: Connectteam

Connectteam is a powerful team communication app that simplifies messaging and includes different products to manage HR and operations. This app lets users chat through text, audio, and video, and it has some notable features to make work life easier.

Top features

Some of the most popular Connectteam features include:

  • Surveys and polls: Users can launch polls or surveys within chats to get the team’s opinion before making decisions that affect them.
  • Employee handbook: This app provides a knowledge base where businesses can store their specific information, such as benefits, processes, menus, or price lists, for easy access by their employees.
  • Easy to use chat: This feature allows private one-on-one and group conversations with coworkers, even when they’re working different shifts.

Pros and cons

Connectteam simplifies communication for small businesses, and it has received positive feedback for its responsive support team. However, some users find the app to be not very intuitive, and there can be a learning curve.


Connectteam’s pricing depends on team size, storage size, and available features. The basic plan is free for up to 10 team members. Prices range from $29 to $99 per month, and each plan has a user limit that can be exceeded for $0.5-3 per additional user per month. 

Some of the HR and operations tools, such as the scheduler and time clock, are available for an additional cost.

7. Best team communication app with scheduling: WheniWork

When I Work is a cloud-based scheduling, time tracking, and team communication software that’s perfect for small and medium-sized businesses.

Top Features

Its messaging platform has many great features, including:

Broadcast messages. With this feature, you can send out announcements to all your contacts at once. It’s great for when you need to share important information that affects the whole team, such as changes in store hours or closures due to maintenance.

Accessibility. You can use When I Work on a web browser or mobile device, so you can stay informed and connected to your team even when you’re on the go.

TeamTxt. When I Work lets you send text messages from the app, making it easy to communicate with employees who don’t have smartphones or don’t want to download the app.

Pros and Cons

When I Work’s team communication app is easy to use and very secure. It allows managers and team members to send messages and have conversations with ease. 

However, the team communication platform is only available when you pay for When I Work’s scheduling app.


Pricing for When I Work varies depending on the plan you choose. There are two plans for scheduling, both of which can be upgraded to include time and attendance tracking. 

The Standard plan costs between $2.50 and $4 per user per month, while the Advanced plan starts at $6 per user per month.

8. Best messaging app for large corporations: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative software designed to make communication and project collaboration easy for colleagues. You can use it to chat, hold video and audio calls, and share information.

Top features

Calling plan. With Teams, you can use your store’s phone and allow customers to call your business with ease. This feature comes with caller ID, voicemail, and automated menus.

Collaborate on files. If you use the Office suite, you can upload and create documents directly from OneDrive and have your team collaborate on them online. Use this feature to handle requests for time off or shift changes.

Video calling. Teams lets you host video conferences with your team, so you can hold meetings with all your members to announce changes, recognize the employee of the month, or discuss important issues.

Pros and cons

Microsoft Teams has several benefits, including the ability to move phone calls between devices, such as from your laptop to your mobile phone. However, it may feel a bit xcomplicated for users who are not familiar with online collaboration tools. Additionally, Teams caters more to corporations with multiple locations, making it less suitable for small businesses and local shops.


Microsoft Teams offers a free version and paid plans that start at $4 per user per month, billed annually.


What is the best group messaging app for work?

The best group messaging app for work depends on your business type and size. The most popular messaging apps for large organizations and office environments are software giants like Microsoft Teams and Slack.

But small businesses benefit most from specialized messaging apps like Homebase, which is part of a larger suite of HR tools like scheduling and payroll.

 What is the best instant messaging app for business?

The best instant messaging app for businesses with large customer bases are platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, which integrate with sales and support software. That means you can connect with customers much faster and easier.

But for small businesses with more foot traffic, you’re better off choosing a team communication tool like Homebase that prioritizes keeping your small business team connected and your day-to-day operations running efficiently.

Best messaging app FAQs

homebase customer photo homebase customer photo

What is the best group messaging app for work?

The best group messaging app for work depends on your business type and size. The most popular messaging apps for large organizations and office environments are software giants like Microsoft Teams and Slack. 

But small businesses benefit most from specialized messaging apps like Homebase, which is part of a larger suite of HR tools like scheduling and payroll.

What is the best instant messaging app for business?

The best instant messaging app for businesses with large customer bases are platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, which integrate with sales and support software. That means you can connect with customers much faster and easier. 

But for small businesses with more foot traffic, you’re better off choosing a team communication tool like Homebase that prioritizes keeping your small business team connected and your day-to-day operations running efficiently.