Top 10 Instant Messaging platforms for business

December 07, 2023 | Editor: Adam Levine

Instant Messaging platforms for (external) interactions with customers and partners. See also Top 10 Team 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.
Twilio powers personalized interactions and trusted global communications to connect you with customers.
Privacy is possible, Signal makes it easy. Send high-quality group, text, picture, and video messages, all without SMS and MMS fees.
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.
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
12 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

2023. Facebook Messenger is finally adding default end-to-end encryption

Facebook Messenger is enabling end-to-end encryption as the default setting for all personal messages and calls, marking a significant update along with various other improvements. This development is particularly noteworthy for individuals prioritizing online privacy. While Messenger initially introduced end-to-end encryption as an optional feature in 2016, users were required to actively opt in. After announcing tests for default end-to-end encryption in August, Meta, the parent company, is now poised to roll out this security feature for all users. This means that individual Messenger conversations will be completely private, shielded from unauthorized access, including by Meta itself. The encryption covers both text conversations and video calls, though group chats with more than two participants remain without this added protection, at least for the time being.

2023. WhatsApp launches its native macOS app

WhatsApp has introduced a new native Mac app, enabling users to engage in video calls with a maximum of eight participants and audio calls with up to 32 individuals. The redesigned app is tailored to Mac users, facilitating increased productivity on larger screens. Notably, users can seamlessly share files through drag-and-drop functionality in chats and access a more extensive chat history. After a period of testing, WhatsApp released the app in public beta earlier this year, making it available to users with Apple Silicon systems and macOS 11 Big Sur or later.

2023. LeapXpert raises $22M to monitor employee chats for compliance

LeapXpert, an instant messaging software that allows employees to message customers or colleagues through popular apps, including WhatsApp, WeChat, iMessage, Telegram and Signal, while monitoring and archiving their business-related chats, has raises $22M. LeapXpert touts its worker-monitoring, “mobile-first” dashboard through which employees can sign in to and access chat channels such as SMS, iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, Signal, Line and certain VoIP apps. On the employer side, companies can set rules and requirements for the types and level of materials that can be sent internally or externally, including specific keywords and phrases, and see the real-time status of all messages sent. LeapXpert promises to avoid capturing private and personal messages by siloing communications, enabling employees to have an independent messaging profile for personal use.

2023. WhatsApp introduces a new Windows client with better calling features

WhatsApp has unveiled an upgraded Windows client that boasts enhanced calling features and improved performance. With the latest version, users can stay connected even when their phone is inactive, thanks to multi-device synchronization. The desktop app now also enables group video calls for up to eight people and audio calls for up to 32 participants, on par with the mobile application. Furthermore, WhatsApp plans to expand the number of people allowed in a group call. In light of its multi-device linking capability that allows one account to be used across various devices, the company has been focused on enhancing its desktop experience.

2022. Customer engagement and retention platform CleverTap bags $105M

Customer engagement and retention platform, CleverTap, has successfully raised $105 million in funding. This startup offers cloud-based tools for customer management and engagement tracking, enabling clients to effectively nurture their user base and enhance their lifetime value. CleverTap leverages app data to provide personalized and contextual recommendations to clients, who can also utilize the platform for running campaigns to test new features and offerings. Originally launched in India, CleverTap is part of a growing cohort of SaaS startups gaining traction in the U.S., Europe, the U.K., and other international markets. With more than 1,200 customers, including prominent names like EA, TED, Gojek, Mercedes Benz, and Canon, spanning over 60 countries, CleverTap powers over 10,000 apps, marking its significant industry presence.

2022. Messaging app Viber launches Payments - a new digital wallet

Viber, the messaging app owned by the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, is introducing Payments on Viber, a new service that enables users to establish digital wallets linked to their Viber accounts. These Payments wallets can be connected to other bank accounts, as well as Visa and Mastercard, allowing users to make bill payments, purchase goods, and transfer money to other individuals. The initial launch of this service will focus on peer-to-peer transfers, which will be free of charge. However, there may be associated fees for services like payments to businesses. The service is initially rolling out in Germany and Greece, with plans to expand across Europe and eventually to Viber's broad global presence in 180 countries, spanning this year and the next.

2022. Charles raises $20M to bring conversational commerce to WhatsApp in Europe

Conversational commerce has gained significant traction in Asia, primarily due to the influence of WeChat. However, it has yet to reach the same level of adoption in Europe. German startup Charles aims to change this dynamic with its recent $20 million funding. Charles offers a comprehensive platform that seamlessly integrates key components of conversational commerce with the marketing capabilities of newsletters. It positions itself as an end-to-end solution, encompassing both backend and interface functionalities. By connecting messaging service APIs like WhatsApp with popular e-commerce and CRM systems such as Shopify and Salesforce, businesses can facilitate product sales, distribute newsletters, and provide ongoing support to customers.

2022. Telegram is now offering a Premium subscription

Telegram is introducing a Premium subscription to leverage its significant growth. Priced at $5 per month, Telegram Premium offers a range of additional features alongside the existing free functionalities. Subscribers can now enjoy the ability to upload larger files, with a size limit of up to 4GB, as well as accelerated file downloads. Furthermore, the subscription doubles various limits within the app, such as the ability to follow up to 1,000 channels, create 20 chat folders with 200 chats each, pin 10 chats, save 10 favorite stickers, and add a fourth account to the app. Premium users also gain access to exclusive stickers, including those with full-screen animations, unique reaction emojis, premium badges, and voice-to-text conversation capabilities.

2022. WhatsApp's new Communities tool sounds a lot like Slack

WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called "Communities," which enables users to create groups within the app for specific organizations or groups, such as schools or apartment buildings. These communities will have sub-groups where members can discuss specific topics, and administrators will have the ability to send announcements to all members. The concept of communities on WhatsApp bears resemblance to Slack, a popular messaging platform in the digital workplace. Along with the introduction of communities, WhatsApp is implementing some additional changes to its Groups feature that also resemble Slack's functionality. Notably, users will now be able to express themselves through emoji reactions, and audio calls will accommodate up to 32 participants. The file sharing size limit has been increased to 2 GB, and group administrators have the ability to delete messages. These updates bring enhanced functionality and versatility to the WhatsApp platform.

2021. Mio raises $8.7M to make enterprise messaging interoperable

Collaboration startup Mio has recently secured $8.7 million in Series A funding. Mio specializes in facilitating seamless communication and collaboration among enterprise teams across various messaging platforms such as Zoom Chat, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Cisco's Webex. With the newly acquired funds, Mio aims to expand its service offerings by integrating support for additional platforms including Google Chat, Meta's Workplace, and Symphony. Furthermore, the company plans to introduce a unified presence feature that enables users to synchronize their online status across multiple services. While Mio faces competition in this space, with offerings from Nextplane and the open-source protocol Matrix, Mio stands out for its comprehensive support of Teams, Zoom, and Webex in addition to other messaging platforms like Slack and Discord.

2021. WhatsApp brings its Business API to the cloud to speed adoption

WhatsApp is introducing a new version of its WhatsApp Business API, which will now be hosted on Facebook's infrastructure in the cloud. According to the company, this shift will significantly reduce the integration setup time from weeks to just minutes. As a result, businesses can swiftly transition to WhatsApp's API platform and effectively communicate with their opted-in customers. Over the past few years, WhatsApp has been expanding its Business API to create a significant revenue stream from its otherwise free messaging service. Presently, businesses pay WhatsApp on a per-message basis, with rates varying depending on the number of messages sent and the region. Currently, numerous large enterprises, including Vodafone, Coppel, Sears Mexico, BMW, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Itau Brazil, iFood, and Bank Mandiri, have already adopted the existing API (non-cloud based) to enhance their operations.

2021. Facebook is bringing end-to-end encryption to Messenger calls

Facebook has expanded the availability of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to include voice calls and video calls on Facebook Messenger. Since 2016, E2EE has been an option for securing text conversations on Facebook's primary messaging platform. Despite facing pressure from governmental entities to reconsider its plans for end-to-end encryption, Facebook is now extending this safeguard to encompass both voice and video calls made through Messenger. This implies that no one, including Facebook itself, can access or monitor the content of these communications. However, it's important to note that activating encryption is a voluntary action, meaning that without opting in to this new feature, your calls may still be susceptible to unauthorized data access.

2021. Business messaging platform Gupshup raises $240M

Gupshup, a business messaging platform that embarked on its journey in India 15 years ago, has recently secured $240 million in funding. The startup operates a conversational messaging platform, currently utilized by over 100,000 businesses and developers to create customized messaging and conversational experiences for their users and customers. With an eye towards the future, Gupshup is now contemplating the possibility of exploring the public markets as early as next year. The platform serves clients across various sectors, including banking, e-commerce, travel, hospitality, and more. These organizations rely on Gupshup to deliver transactional information, authentication codes, and other valuable use cases to their customers.

2021. Element, a messaging app built on the decentralized Matrix protocol, raises $30M

Element, a decentralized messaging app built on the Matrix network, has recently secured $30 million in funding. Matrix is an open network designed for secure and decentralized communication, connecting over 35 million users across more than 75,000 deployments. The primary goal of Element is to provide a unified platform that simplifies the management of conversations while prioritizing security and practicality. Presently, Element is available as both an on-premise system and a cloud-based platform, with public sector customers often opting for the former and private sector customers choosing the latter. While other encrypted messaging platforms like Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp have gained significant user adoption, Element, along with its underlying engine Matrix, has been embraced primarily by large organizations as early adopters. However, with Matrix also collaborating with Twitter on its Blue Sky decentralized platform initiative, there is potential for Element to attract a broader user base beyond its initial adopters.

2021. AWS has acquired encrypted messaging service Wickr

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has made an entry into the realm of encrypted messaging with its recent acquisition of the secure communications service Wickr. Wickr is a messaging app that specifically caters to government and military groups as well as enterprises, positioning itself as the sole "collaboration service" that fulfills the security requirements set by the NSA. Following the acquisition, AWS plans to maintain the current operations of Wickr and extend its services to AWS customers. While AWS already offers the communication service Chime, which facilitates meetings, chats, and business calls for organizations, it has not gained the same level of prominence as competing platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Unlike Chime, Wickr places a strong emphasis on end-to-end encryption, aligning with AWS's aim to enhance secure communication offerings.

2021. MessageBird acquires SparkPost for $600M

MessageBird, a communication platform based in the Netherlands, made two significant announcements today. Firstly, the company secured an extension of $800 million for its existing $200 million Series C funding round. Subsequently, MessageBird utilized $600 million from the extension to acquire SparkPost, an email marketing platform. While MessageBird already had an email component, the opportunity to acquire the world's largest email provider was too compelling to ignore. With the addition of SparkPost to its portfolio, MessageBird gains a stronger foothold in the U.S. market, expanding its presence beyond Europe and Asia.

2021. Messaging platform Gupshup raises $100 million

Conversational messaging platform Gupshup has successfully raised $100 million in its Series F funding round. With a user base exceeding 100,000 businesses and developers, Gupshup offers a robust platform that empowers users to create personalized messaging and conversational experiences for their customers. The startup is dedicated to providing businesses with the necessary tools to effectively engage customers through mobile messaging and enhance their conversational interactions.

2021. MessageBird acquires 24sessions to bring video to its omnichannel platform

MessageBird, a cloud communications platform that offers omnichannel solutions, has recently acquired 24sessions, a customer engagement platform focused on video communication. With the addition of 24sessions' video platform, MessageBird expands its range of communication channels, specifically emphasizing the significance of video in replicating in-person interactions digitally. MessageBird positions itself as an "Omnichannel Platform-as-a-Service" (OPaaS), aiming to provide enterprises, as well as medium and smaller-sized companies, with seamless communication capabilities across various channels. The goal is to empower businesses to engage with their customers through their preferred channels easily.

2021. Slack now lets you DM employees in other companies

Slack has recently introduced a new feature that enables users of the platform to send direct messages to each other. Known as Slack Connect DMs, this functionality allows Slack users to privately communicate with individuals outside their own company. While primarily intended for companies collaborating with partners or clients, it can also be utilized to message friends employed at other companies. This new DM feature expands on Slack's existing Connect feature, which was introduced last year. Slack Connect primarily facilitates business collaboration through shared channels, and cross-organizational DMs represent the next significant aspect of Connect. To initiate a DM, users send a special link to start a conversation, and depending on your organization's Slack setup, Slack admin approval may be required.

2021. WhatsApp adds voice and video calling to desktop app

Support for voice and video calling is being introduced to the desktop app of WhatsApp for Mac and Windows. Initially, this feature will only be available for one-to-one calls, but the company plans to expand it to include group voice and video calls in the future. The video calls are designed to work seamlessly in both portrait and landscape orientation. Additionally, the desktop client will always remain on top of other windows, ensuring that video chats are never lost amidst a browser tab or a stack of open windows. WhatsApp conducted tests for this feature with a small group of desktop users last year.

2021. Beeper - universal chat app that works with iMessage and other IMs

The recently launched application, Beeper, introduces a remarkable capability to connect with a diverse range of 15 messaging services. This includes popular platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Instagram, Twitter DMs, Messenger, Skype, Hangouts, and others. Remarkably, Beeper even enables integration with iMessage through clever workarounds. The underlying technology behind Beeper is based on Matrix, an open-source, federated, and encrypted messaging protocol. Matrix provides an API that allows developers to establish connections with various chat networks using a "bridge" mechanism, enabling seamless message relay between different platforms. To achieve iMessage integration, Beeper provides users with an older, jailbroken iPhone (specifically an iPhone 4S) to function as the bridge. The service is available at a subscription cost of $10 per month.

2020. Signal adds encrypted group video calls

Signal, the popular encrypted messaging app known for its commitment to privacy and security, has introduced a new feature: end-to-end encrypted group video calls. This feature allows up to five participants to engage in a video call within a Signal group, providing seamless connectivity and flexibility. Unlike Facebook's Messenger Rooms, Signal ensures that all group video calls are end-to-end encrypted, prioritizing the privacy of its users. Initiating a video call in an existing Signal group is as simple as tapping the video icon located in the upper-right corner of the screen. Once the call has started, group members can freely join or leave the call at any time, enhancing the convenience and accessibility of group communication.

2020. MessageBird acquires real-time notifications and in-app messaging platform Pusher

MessageBird, the omnichannel cloud communications platform, has recently acquired Pusher, a real-time web technologies company, in a deal worth $35 million. MessageBird plans to maintain Pusher as an independent entity to serve its existing customer base. The acquisition of Pusher fills a crucial gap in MessageBird's communication platform, which primarily focuses on SMS and messaging-first channels like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat. Pusher's expertise in in-app notifications, along with its developer-friendly API and SDKs centered around "push" technology, will enhance MessageBird's capabilities. Notable features that Pusher brings to the table include in-app messaging, push notifications, and location tracking.

2020. Omnichannel communication platform MessageBird raises $200M

MessageBird, the cloud communications company headquartered in Amsterdam, has successfully secured $200 million in Series C funding. While initially perceived as a European or "rest of the world" rival to Twilio, a U.S.-based cloud communications platform, MessageBird has since repositioned itself as an "Omnichannel Platform-as-a-Service" (OPaaS). The primary goal is to enable enterprises, as well as medium and smaller-sized companies, to effortlessly engage with customers through their preferred communication channels. The platform offers support for various channels right from the start, including WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, Twitter, Line, Telegram, SMS, email, and voice. This flexibility empowers customers to initiate their interactions online and seamlessly transition to a more convenient channel, such as their preferred mobile messaging app, ensuring uninterrupted communication.

2020. Microsoft challenges Twilio with the launch of Azure Communication Services

Microsoft has unveiled Azure Communication Services, a comprehensive suite of capabilities within its cloud infrastructure that empowers developers to integrate voice and video calling, chat, text messaging, and traditional telephony functionalities into their applications. This offering marks the "first fully managed communication platform" introduced by a leading cloud provider, distinguishing itself from similar features provided by Google and AWS. While these rivals may offer individual components such as AWS notification service, Azure Communication Services presents a unified communication solution, positioning it as a formidable contender against Twilio and emerging player MessageBird.

2020. Apple’s iMessage adds Slack-like mentions, pins, threads and more

Apple has recently announced that the upcoming version of iMessage will include support for various popular features commonly found in rival messaging applications such as Slack and Facebook's Messenger, among others. These enhancements encompass the addition of inline replies, pins, and mentions, along with updated customization options for group chats, expanded Memoji functionality, improved search capabilities, and more. The introduction of inline replies allows iMessage users participating in a group chat to respond to specific messages using threaded conversations, a feature commonly found in other leading messaging apps like Slack. Users have the flexibility to view the replies within the main conversation or as separate threads, depending on their preference.

2020. Businesses on Facebook can now respond to customers in Messenger

Facebook is introducing a new inbox feature on Messenger, enabling business owners to conveniently respond to customer messages using the same app they use for personal conversations with friends and family. This update streamlines communication for businesses, allowing them to handle all their interactions from a single app. No longer will they need to switch between multiple applications to compose and reply to customer inquiries, which many business owners found to be a frustrating process. However, if preferred, business users can still utilize Facebook's Page Manager app to manage their posts, create ads, access Page insights, and respond to messages.

2020. Facebook makes Messenger for iOS faster and lighter

The latest version of Messenger for iOS has been completely rebuilt from scratch, resulting in a smaller download size and more efficient updates. This new version launches much faster than its predecessor, which is particularly beneficial for users who frequently access the app throughout the day. According to Facebook, Messenger now loads twice as quickly as the previous iOS version and is only a quarter of its original size. While some features may be temporarily unavailable due to this redesign, Facebook assures users that it is actively working to reinstate them in the near future.

2020. MoEngage lands $25M for its mobile-first customer engagement platform

MoEngage, a startup dedicated to enhancing customer understanding and engagement, recently secured $25 million in funding. MoEngage provides a comprehensive product that enables clients to gain deeper insights into how their customers or users interact with their apps and websites. By consolidating these insights into a single dashboard, firms can effectively retain existing customers and optimize sales strategies. While competing with other startups like India-based Clevertap, MoEngage plans to utilize the new capital infusion to expand its customer base in North America and Europe.

2019. Video Messaging app for work Loom raises $30M

Loom, the enterprise collaboration video messaging service, has recently raised $30 million in funding. Loom provides a convenient way to send concise video clips, allowing you to effectively convey your message and swiftly return to your work. Whether you need to discuss a problem, present a solution, or provide narration during a screenshare, Loom empowers you to do so seamlessly. Through clever engineering techniques, videos begin uploading while you are still recording, enabling you to share instantly viewable links as soon as you complete your recording. Remote workers particularly appreciate Loom as it facilitates face-to-face interactions with colleagues without the hassle of scheduling synchronous video calls. Since its launch in 2016, Loom has experienced substantial growth, expanding its user base to 1.1 million users and serving 18,000 companies.

Editor: Adam Levine
Adam is an expert in project management, collaboration and productivity technologies, team management, and motivation. With an extensive background working at prestigious companies such as Microsoft and Accenture, Adam's in-depth knowledge and experience in the field make him a sought-after professional. Currently, he has ventured into entrepreneurship, owning a thriving consulting and training agency where he imparts invaluable insights and practical strategies to individuals and organizations, empowering them to achieve their goals and maximize their potential. You can contact Adam via email