Top 10 Instant Messaging platforms for business
Last updated: December 09, 2022
Instant Messaging platforms for (external) interactions with customers and partners. See also Top 10 Teamwork Messaging platforms
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.
Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security. It’s super-fast, simple, secure and free. Telegram seamlessly syncs across all of your devices and can be used on desktops, tablets and phones alike. You can send an unlimited amount of messages, photos, videos and files of any type (.doc, .zip, .pdf, etc.). Telegram groups have up to 200 people and you can send broadcasts to up to 100 contacts at a time. Be sure to check our website for a list of Telegram apps for all platforms.
Privacy is possible, Signal makes it easy. Send high-quality group, text, picture, and video messages, all without SMS and MMS fees.
Twilio powers personalized interactions and trusted global communications to connect you with customers.
Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service and software application which provides text and voice communication. Available now for Android and iPhone.
Viber is a mobile app that provides free international calls and text messages to other Viber users using 3G or Wi-Fi. Uses your existing contact list - check out which of your phone contacts and friends is already on Viber so that you can call and text them for free.
The leading omnichannel communications platform, built for global scale, that power communication between businesses and their customers — across any channel, always with the right context, and on every corner of the planet.
Mobile messenger app with various stickers and free voice & video calls over 3G/4G & Wi-Fi.
iMessage lets you send messages back and forth with anyone on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or a Mac. If you’re a texter, you’ll love Messages on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Now they all come with iMessage, a service that’s an even better kind of texting. Because it’s free for you and anyone texting over Wi-Fi using an iOS device or Mac with iMessage.
Omnichannel communication platform that unifies all messaging channels into one single view and makes customer communication easy.
on Live Enterprise
WeChat is a free messaging & video calling app that allows you to easily connect with family & friends across countries. It's the all-in-one communications app for free
Respond.io is a business messaging platform that connects contacts from Email, Whatsapp, Social Media, Website widget in one place.
The Most Trusted Messenger in the World. Trusted by world leaders, executives, journalists, human rights activists and your friends. Wickr removes all records, geotags and identifying information from your messages ... Your Wickr ID is anonymous to us and anyone outside your Wickr network.
KakaoTalk is a multi-platform texting app that allows iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry users to send and receive messages for free. Talk around the clock, all around the world with up to five friends at once — for free. Easily send photos, contact info, voice notes or your location.
Snapchat is a photo messaging application. Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients.
chat on your terms. Looking for a new and engaging way to interact with your audience? Have amazing content or a cool experience you'd love to get discovered? Kik offers brands and content providers unique ways to talk with their fans, and find new followers too!
World’s Leading Conversational Messaging Platform for commerce, marketing and support
ICQ is an instant messaging computer program. ICQ features include sending text messages, offline support, multi-user chats, free daily-limited SMS sending, resumable file transfers, greeting cards, multiplayer games and a searchable user directory.
Omnichannel messaging platform. Integrate all the messaging channels, including WhatsApp, into one place to provide efficient customer support in real-time.
Your Off-the-Record Messenger. Spoken words disappear after they're heard. But what you say online remains forever. With confidential messages that self-destruct, Confide lets you avoid the Cloud, and takes you off the record.
The Simple Workspace for Customer Service Teams. The omnichannel contact center that seamlessly combines your customer conversations and your existing systems. Build community, not complexity.
Trillian is modern and secure instant messaging for people, business and healthcare
Pidgin (formerly named Gaim) is a multi-platform instant messaging client. It provides the ability to have voice/video conversations using the XMPP protocol (including Google Talk). Further features include support for themes, emoticons, spell checking, and notification area integration.
Comm100 is the leading provider of customer service and communication software, globally. With "100% communication, 100% success" as our motto, we are committed to making customer communication simple and effective for you. Comm100's live chat software is designed with the goal to make online chat easy for anyone. Comm100 Email Marketing is professional opt-in email marketing software that offers all the tools needed to implement successful opt-in email marketing campaigns.
With audio and video calls in imo, you can have free and stable calls, send files, create groups.
iAdvize allows to provide customers with a premium, humanized, omnichannel messaging experience. Enable website visitors to communicate seamlessly with your brand over text, voice, or video on the channels they prefer.
Latest news about Instant Messaging platforms for business
2022. Customer engagement and retention platform CleverTap bags $105M
Customer engagement and retention platform CleverTap has raised $105M. The startup operates cloud-based customer management and engagement tracking tools that help its clients sustain their user bases and increase their lifetime value. CleverTap says it sifts through data points in apps to offer contextual and personalized recommendations to clients, who also use the platform to run campaigns to test new features and offerings. CleverTap, which started its journey in India, is among a growing list of SaaS startups that are increasingly gaining adoption in the U.S., Europe, U.K. and other international markets and regions. Over 1,200 customers — including EA, TED, Gojek, Mercedes Benz and Canon — across more than five dozen nations use CleverTap to power over 10,000 apps, the startup said.
2022. Messaging app Viber launches Payments - a new digital wallet
Viber, the messaging app owned by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, is launching Payments on Viber — a new service that will let users set up digital wallets tied to their Viber accounts. Linked to other bank accounts as well as Visa and Mastercard, Payments wallets can in turn be used to make bill payments and buy goods, as well as transfer money to other individuals. Peer-to-peer transfers will be the first of these services to launch, and these will be free. Services like payments to businesses likely will have some fees attached. The service is being launched first in two markets — Germany and Greece — with the plan being to extend that to the rest of Europe, and then Viber’s wider global footprint of 180 countries, this year and next.
2022. Charles raises $20M to bring conversational commerce to WhatsApp in Europe
The conversational commerce is up in Asis thanks to WeChat, but it hasn’t quite taken off to the same level in Europe — and this is something that German startup Charles wants to change with new $20M funding. Charles is a platform that meshes key conversational commerce components with the marketing prowess of newsletters. Charles pitches itself as a full, end-to-end product spanning backend and interface, connecting the APIs from messaging services such as WhatsApp with popular e-commerce and CRM (customer relationship management) systems like Shopify and Salesforce. Then, businesses can sell products, send newsletters and offer follow-on support.
2022. Telegram is now offering a Premium subscription
Telegram is launching a Premium subscription, with hopes of capitalising on its considerable growth. Telegram Premium is priced at $5 per month. The subscription provides a flurry of new features in addition to those that are already available for free. Among these is the ability to upload larger files — up to 4GB in size — and download files faster. There are also doubled limits for everything in the app: follow up to 1,000 channels, create up to 20 chat folders with 200 chats each, pin 10 chats, save up to 10 favorite stickers, and add a fourth account to the app. Other Premium tools include unique stickers (some with full-screen animations), unique reaction emojis, premium badges, and voice-to-text conversation.
2022. WhatsApp's new Communities tool sounds a lot like Slack
WhatsApp has added a new feature - Communities. A "Community" will be composed of people who are all part of the same organization or group — WhatsApp gives the example of a school or apartment building — and sub-groups for people to discuss specific topics. There will also be a mechanism for admins to send announcements to all the members. Communities sounds a lot like Slack, the messaging platform that's extremely popular in the digital workplace. WhatsApp is also rolling out some general changes to Groups that also have a Slack-ish ring to them. Most notably, that includes emoji reactions. Praise be! But there's also increased size for audio calls (they'll be able to accommodate 32 users), increased file sharing size to 2 GB, and the ability for admins to delete messages.
2021. Mio raises $8.7M to make enterprise messaging interoperable
Mio, a startup that helps enterprise teams collaborate across messaging services like Zoom Chat, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Cisco’s Webex, has raised an $8.7 million Series A funding round. Mio plans to use the new funds to enhance its service by adding support for additional services like Google Chat, Meta’s Workplace and Symphony. The company also plans to launch a new unified presence feature that will allow users to synchronize their presence status across services. Given the obvious need for a service like this, it’s no surprise that there is a bit of competition here. Nextplane offers somewhat similar capabilities and with Matrix, there is an open source protocol for decentralized messaging with bridges to Slack, Discord and others (but not Teams, Zoom and Webex).
2021. WhatsApp brings its Business API to the cloud to speed adoption
WhatsApp is launching new, cloud-based version of its WhatsApp Business API, hosted on parent company Facebook’s infrastructure. With the shift to the cloud, the setup time for integrating with the API will drop from weeks to only minutes, the company claims, so businesses can more quickly transition to WhatsApp’s API platform to communicate with their customers who have opted in to receive their messages. The company has been steadily building out its Business API over the past couple of years to become one of the key ways the otherwise free messaging app will generate revenue from its service. Businesses today pay WhatsApp on a per-message basis, with rates that vary based on the number of messages sent and region. Currently, tens of thousands of larger businesses have adopted the existing (non-cloud based) API, including brands like Vodafone, Coppel, Sears Mexico, BMW, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Itau Brazil, iFood and Bank Mandiri, among others.
2021. Facebook is bringing end-to-end encryption to Messenger calls
Facebook has extended the option of using end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger voice calls and video calls. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) — a security feature that prevents third-parties from eavesdropping on calls and chats — has been available for text conversations on Facebook’s flagship messaging service since 2016. Although the company has faced pressure from governments to roll back its end-to-end encryption plans, Facebook is now extending this protection to both voice and video calls on Messenger, which means that “nobody else, including Facebook, can see or listen to what’s sent or said.” There's just one caveat: You have to choose to activate encryption, meaning your calls will theoretically be vulnerable to data hijinks unless you opt in to this new feature.
2021. Business messaging platform Gupshup raises $240M
Gupshup, a business messaging platform that began its journey in India 15 years ago, has raised $240 million. The startup, which operates a conversational messaging platform that is used by over 100,000 businesses and developers today to build their own messaging and conversational experiences to serve their users and customers, is beginning to consider exploring the public markets by next year. Banking, e-commerce, travel and hospitality and other sectors are among the clients of Gupshup. These firms are using Gupshup to send their customers transaction information and authentication codes, among other use cases.
2021. Element, a messaging app built on the decentralized Matrix protocol, raises $30M
Element a decentralized, Matrix-based messaging app, has picked up $30 million. Matrix is an open network for secure, decentralised communication, connecting 35M+ users over 75K+ deployments. The idea here is that by bringing it all together, it’s easier to manage those conversations from the perspectives of security and practical use.Element today is available as an on-premise system or a cloud-based platform. Most public sector customers choose the former, and private sector ones opt for the latter. While there are a number of other encrypted messaging platforms on the market that are seeing mass adoption — they include Telegram, Signal and even to some extent Facebook’s WhatsApp — Element (and Matrix’s) early adopters have been large organizations. However, with Matrix, the engine underpinning Element, also doing early work with the likes of Twitter on its Blue Sky decentralized platform efforts, that could potentially give Element another boost of users, beyond those early adopters.
2021. AWS has acquired encrypted messaging service Wickr
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is getting into the encrypted messaging business. The company has just announced that it has acquired secure communications service Wickr — a messaging app that has geared itself towards providing services to government and military groups and enterprises. It claims to be the only “collaboration service” that meets security criteria set out by the NSA. AWS will continue operating Wickr as is, and offer its services to AWS customers. The AWS division currently offers communications service Chime, which enables organizations to meet, chat, and place business calls. But it’s a little-known product that’s failed to have the impact of rival services Slack or Microsoft Teams, and it doesn’t focus on end-to-end encryption as Wickr does.
2021. MessageBird acquires SparkPost for $600M
MessageBird, a communications platform out of the Netherlands, had a busy day today with two huge announcements. For starters, the company got an $800 million extension on its $200 million Series C round. It then applied $600 million of the extension to buy email marketing platform SparkPost. MessageBird had an email component prior to the acquisition, but the chance to pick up the largest email provider in the world was too good to pass up. With the company in the fold, it enables MessageBird, which has mostly been in Europe and Asia, to get a stronger foothold in the U.S. market.
2021. Messaging platform Gupshup raises $100 million
Conversational messaging platform Gupshup has raised $100 million in its Series F financing round. The startup operates a platform, which is used by over 100,000 businesses and developers today to build their own messaging and conversational experiences to serve their users and customers. Gupshup’s mission is to build the tools that help businesses better engage customers through mobile messaging and conversational experiences.
2021. MessageBird acquires 24sessions to bring video to its omnichannel platform
MessageBird, the omnichannel cloud communications platform has acquired video-first customer engagement platform 24sessions. The addition of 24sessions’ video platform gives MessageBird another channel: video. This is a particularly important channel where in-person interactions are being replicated digitally. MessageBird is positioning itself as an “Omnichannel Platform-as-a-Service” (OPaaS). The idea is to easily enable enterprises and medium and smaller-sized companies to communicate with customers on any channel of their choosing.
2021. Slack now lets you DM employees in other companies
Slack is starting to roll out a new feature that lets anyone using the service DM each other. Slack Connect DMs will let Slack users privately message employees outside of their company. It’s designed for companies working with partners or clients, but you could even use it to message friends at other companies. This new DM feature builds on Slack’s work with Connect, which started appearing last year. Slack Connect is primarily designed to let businesses collaborate together through shared channels, and cross-organizational DMs is the next big part of Connect. DMs work by sending a special link to start a conversation and may require Slack admin approval depending on how your organization has set up Slack.
2021. WhatsApp adds voice and video calling to desktop app
WhatsApp is rolling out support for voice and video calling to its desktop app for Mac and Windows. For now it will only support one-to-one calls, but that it will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls “in the future.” Video calls work “seamlessly” for both portrait and landscape orientation, and the desktop client is “set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows,” the firm said, which began testing the feature with a small group of users on desktop late last year.
2021. Beeper - universal chat app that works with iMessage and other IMs
The newly launched app, Beeper can connect with 15 different messaging services, including WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Instagram and Twitter DMs, Messenger, Skype, Hangouts and others — even, through a few tricks, iMessage. Beeper is built on top of Matrix, which is this open-source federated, encrypted messaging protocol. Basically, Matrix offers an API that allows developers to connect with other chat networks using a “bridge,” which relays the messages back and forth from one side to another. And for iMessage integration Beeper ships its users an old, jailbroken iPhone (iPhone 4S, because it’s cheap) to serve as the bridge. The service costs $10/mounth.
2020. Signal adds encrypted group video calls
Signal, the free and open source encrypted messaging app, launched end-to-end encrypted group video calls. The feature, which at present is limited to five people per call, allows members of a Signal group to pop in and out of an ongoing call at will. Notably, unlike Facebook's Messenger Rooms, group video calls on Signal are end-to-end encrypted. In an existing Signal group, you only need to tap the video icon in the upper-right corner of the screen to start the call. Once you've done so, group members can join or leave the call at their pleasure.
2020. MessageBird acquires real-time notifications and in-app messaging platform Pusher
MessageBird, the omnichannel cloud communications platform has acquired real-time web technologies company Pusher for $35M. The Pusher product will be kept independent for existing customers, while Pusher’s tech, with its focus on in-app notifications and a developer-friendly API and SDKs built around “push,” will help plug a gap in MessageBird’s own communication platform, which is stronger in SMS and messaging-first channels such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line and WeChat, etc. Specifically, Pusher is said to bring features like in-app messaging, push notifications and location tracking.
2020. Omnichannel communication platform MessageBird raises $200M
MessageBird, the Amsterdam-headquartered cloud communications company, has raised $200 million in Series C. Originally seen as a European or “rest of the world” competitor to U.S.-based Twilio — offering a cloud communications platform that supports voice, video and text capabilities all wrapped up in an API — MessageBird has since repositioned itself as an “Omnichannel Platform-as-a-Service” (OPaaS). The idea is to easily enable enterprises and medium and smaller-sized companies to communicate with customers on any channel of their choosing. Out of the box, this includes support for WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, Twitter, Line, Telegram, SMS, email and voice. Customers can start online and then move their support request or query over to a more convenient channel, such as their favourite mobile messaging app, which, of course, can go with them.
2020. Microsoft challenges Twilio with the launch of Azure Communication Services
Microsoft announced the launch of Azure Communication Services, a new set of features in its cloud that enable developers to add voice and video calling, chat and text messages to their apps, as well as old-school telephony. The company describes the new set of services as the “first fully managed communication platform offering from a major cloud provider,” and that seems right, given that Google and AWS offer some of these features, including the AWS notification service, for example, but not as part of a cohesive communication service. Indeed, it seems Azure Communication Service is more of a competitor to the core features of Twilio or up-and-coming MessageBird.
2020. Apple’s iMessage adds Slack-like mentions, pins, threads and more
Apple announced the next version of iMessage will support a number of popular features found in rival messaging apps like Slack or even Facebook’s Messenger, among others. This includes added support for common features like inline replies, pins, and mentions, plus updated customizations for group chats, expanded Memoji, improved search, and more. With the new inline replies feature, iMessage users in a group chat will be able to respond to specific messages using threads — a feature common to a number of other top messaging apps, including Slack. With inline replies, users can opt to view the replies within the full conversation, or you can opt to view them as their own thread.
2020. Businesses on Facebook can now respond to customers in Messenger
Facebook is launching a new inbox on Messenger today to make it easier for business owners to respond to incoming customer messages from the same app they use to message friends and family. The update will allow businesses to manage all their communications from a single app, instead of having to toggle back and forth between apps in order to write and respond to customer inquires — A process many business owners said they found frustrating. Business users can still use the Facebook’s Page Manager app to manage their Facebook posts, create ads, view their Page insights and respond to messages, if they choose.
2020. Facebook makes Messenger for iOS faster and lighter
The new (built from scratch) version of Messenger for iOS is now a smaller download, with smaller updates, that launches faster than before. As Facebook points out, "a faster start time may not matter as much if you only open an app once or twice a day, but it makes a huge difference when you open an app many times a day." More precisely, Facebook claims Messenger now loads twice as fast (compared to the previous iOS version), and is just one fourth of its original size. Some features are temporarily unavailable due to this change, but Facebook says it'll try to bring them back "soon."
2020. MoEngage lands $25M for its mobile-first customer engagement platform
MoEngage, a startup that helps firms better understand their customers and improve their engagement, has raised $25 million. MoEngage offers a product that allows clients to gain deeper insights into the way their customers or users are engaging with their apps and websites. These insights, all displayed on one dashboard, could be very useful for firms to retain their existing customers or find optimized ways to attempt to sell more to them. MoEngage, which competes with a handful of startups including India-based Clevertap, will infuse the fresh capital to find more customers in North America and Europe
2019. Video Messaging app for work Loom raises $30M
Loom, the enterprise collaboration video messaging service - raises $30M. Loom lets you send quick clips of yourself so you can get your point across and get back to work. Talk through a problem, explain your solution, or narrate a screenshare. Some engineering hocus pocus sees videos start uploading before you finish recording so you can share instantly viewable links as soon as you’re done. Remote workers are especially keen on Loom since it gives them face-to-face time with colleagues without the annoyance of scheduling synchronous video calls. Launched in 2016, Loom is finally hitting its growth spurt. It’s up from 1.1 million users and 18,000 companies now.
2019. WhatsApp adds business catalogs
WhatsApp is expanding its business app with a new “catalogs” feature that will allow the businesses to showcase and share their products and services to potential customers, who can browse photos, view prices and read product descriptions to help inform their purchase decisions. These catalogs effectively serve as a mobile storefront on WhatsApp and one that can be operated without the need for a web page at all. Instead, the business owner simply visits the new Catalog option in their app’s settings and uploads photos of whatever it is they’re selling and fill out the details, which can optionally include a product or service code.
2019. Skype added features for work with important messages
Skype is used mainly for video communications, but it wants to be useful as a messenger also. Of course, it's nearly impossible to win over whatsapps and vibers now, so Skype is looking for new niches. In the latest update, the developers added some (unusual for a messenger) features: drafts and bookmarks. Drafts - allow you to save the started message so that you can return to it later and finish it. Bookmarks - allow you to save received messages so that you can quickly find them later. Obviously, both of these features are designed to work with important messages. Perhaps Skype wants to create a new niche - something between messengers and email, and this can be useful for business users.
2019. BlackBerry Messenger was discontinued (for consumers)
Indonesian media company Emtek, that acquired BlackBerry Messenger in 2016 announced that BBM is discontinued. Launched in 2005, for many years, BBM was considered BlackBerry’s strongest product, with some loyalists eschewing Android and iOS devices before it was finally ported over to those operating systems in 2013. But competition ultimately proved too much. Technology and the world moved away from BBM and BlackBerry at large. The rewards, it seems, weren’t worth the resources. Notably, the secure enterprise service BBM Enterprise will live on for business users.
2019. Facebook Messenger to get desktop apps, video co-watching
Facebook announced Messenger Desktop - stripped-down version of Messenger focused on chat, audio and video calls. It will debut later this year and remove the need to juggle and resize browser tabs by giving you an always-accessible version of Messenger that can replace some of the unofficial knock-offs. Especially as Messenger focuses more on businesses, giving them a dedicated desktop interface could convince them to invest more in lead generation and customer service through Messenger. Messenger is also adding a Facebook Watch Party-style experience that would let users pick videos to watch at the same time as a friend, with reaction cams of their faces shown below the video. Now in testing before rolling out later this year, users can pick any Facebook video, invite one or multiple friends and laugh together.