Team communication is an essential part of remote collaboration, and with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the shift toward virtual offices, video calling is now more important than ever.
But it can be tricky to find the right communication app since there are countless options available, all of which have their own merits. This guide seeks to remedy that by taking you through some of the best choices.
The first platform on our list is Fleep. In addition to having arguably the cutest name of any team communication app, the platform boasts a free plan that gives you 10 GB of storage, unlimited one-to-one conversations, and access to your full message history.
This stands in stark contrast to some platforms that make you upgrade just to see older messages. The storage also ensures that you won’t have to use a third-party solution when sharing files.
Of course, some limitations are a given when using the free plan of any service. The most obvious one here is the fact that you can only create a maximum of three group conversations without upgrading to a paid subscription.
Still, this won’t be a major hindrance if your team isn’t too big or tends to congregate in a single channel anyway. As a team communication app, Fleep ticks most of the boxes.
In the video calling department, the developers took an interesting approach. Rather than developing their own solution or offering integrations as an option, they built Whereby right into Fleep to ensure that it’s easy to use and requires no setup.
Fleep’s business plan costs €5 per month for each user (about $6) — but increases by 30 percent if you switch to monthly billing.
Next up on our list is Chanty. It’s free to use forever, which makes it perfect for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) or startups that need a robust solution but can’t shell out extra cash.
Bigger companies with more complex needs also have a place in the Chanty ecosystem since the business plan includes premium features — such as expanded storage, unlimited integrations, and a dedicated support line — while only costing $3 per user, per month.
The video calling feature is, at the moment, reserved for the premium plan, but at such an affordable price point, that shouldn’t be an issue. This feature may become available to free users when it leaves beta.
All the key elements of the video calling feature — such as screen sharing — are already implemented, making the beta feel like a finished product. Right now, Chanty only supports one-to-one video calls, but it will release the group conferencing feature later this year.
Even if your needs don’t center on video calling, there’s still plenty to be had with this platform. You can make use of the native task management capabilities, Kanban board, and code snippet support.
While Brosix may sound more like an exercise move than a communication app, you might be surprised at just how much it has to offer. A notable benefit of Brosix is the high-security approach.
The platform promises to “make remote employees feel like they are in the office.” This means more than just convenience and seamless navigation — it also adds a sense of confidence that no one is peeking in on private conservations.
Brosix will run you $4–$6 per month for each user that you add, depending on the plan. Video chat is available only to paying subscribers. While some aspects of the interface look a bit dated, the group conferences and screen sharing work just fine.
In terms of drawbacks, Brosix falls short with its mobile app. The iOS and Android software isn’t well designed and has usability issues.
Fortunately, the Brosix native apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux are far easier to use than their smartphone counterparts. Ultimately, if you’re the type of user who always does work on the go, you might want to go for another solution.
Let’s move on to a team communication app with a truly stunning website: Connecteam. Those familiar with the company are likely wondering why it’s on the list since it doesn’t have video calling capabilities.
Connecteam deserves a spot for being a feature-rich team communication platform. Some sources in the software world say that developers are working on an update that will let users make both audio and video calls — though the company has yet to confirm these rumors.
Connecteam’s plans range from free to $119 per month, so there’s a price point for every company. If you subscribe to the annual plan, you’ll get two months for free. That’s a great way to save money, but you still shouldn’t commit to a whole year without first verifying that Connecteam is the right fit.
No team communication list would be complete without Slack. Love it or hate it, you’ve surely heard of it.
With a single click, you can go from typing a message to launching a video call with your team members. The screen sharing feature also works quite well and makes it easy to illustrate your points when briefing collaborators on upcoming projects.
While Slack has its share of shortcomings, it truly shines in the integration department with more than 2,000 options to choose from. This means that you can integrate a video calling solution of your choice if you’re not a fan of the native functionality that the developers have implemented.
A few noteworthy videoconferencing options include Zoom, Webex Meetings, BlueJeans, Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams. Just having such an expansive variety of solutions to choose from is a great thing since it boosts the chances of finding the right one for your team.
Slack is free to use, but if you want to escape the 10,000-message history limit or lift the cap on integrations to get more than 10, you’ll have to upgrade. Prices start at $8 per month for each user that you add, with the price dropping to $6.67 per month if you pay annually.
You might be surprised to see Discord closing out this list since it’s better known as a chat platform for gamers or, as some would put it, the successor to TeamSpeak. It has actually become a popular choice for some new companies.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, there’s a decent amount of overlap between gamers and entrepreneurs, so some founders use Discord because they’re already familiar with it.
The reasons range far beyond this, though. One thing that has made it a popular bootstrap option is the fact that you can access roughly 90 percent of its functionality without paying a cent. Premium features are just minor elements — like animated avatars or bigger file upload limits.
Discord is also very robust, rarely having downtime or related issues. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since any software used for competitive eSports is bound to be responsive.
If you see having a GIF as your avatar as a justifiable business expense (hey, no judgment from us), then you can subscribe to Discord Nitro for $9.99 per month for each user. While not exactly targeted toward the business world, its instant messaging (IM), video calling, and screen sharing are all up to par.
There’s no shortage of team communication apps to choose from. It all comes down to factoring in things like your company budget, the features you need most, and how many members you have on board.
Take some time to compare solutions rather than just going for the most popular platform by default. Use free trials before paying for a premium subscription to ensure that you don’t waste your hard-earned cash.