Table of Contents
- What Are Instant Messaging Services?
- The Evolution of Instant Messaging Software
- The Best Instant Messaging App for External Business Communication
- Choosing Instant Messaging for Business Team Communication
- The Benefits of Free Instant Messaging for Business
- How to Select the Right Instant Messenger App for Your Business
- Work with Esendex to Streamline Your Business Communications
With several billion people using an instant messaging app, most of your customers are bound to be in that number. This also applies to all the employees who are a part of your team.
One of the questions you need to ask is whether you are maximizing the use of instant messaging to meet the needs of your business. When you connect with someone where they are, whether on AIM instant messenger or Facebook instant messenger, you can collaborate and communicate efficiently.
What Are Instant Messaging Services?
An instant messaging app like Outlook lets people chat in real-time. Apps are often used for messaging to share video, audio, text, files, and other items.
Businesses use an instant messaging app to communicate across a team, as well as to speak with customers and understand their questions and concerns. As we move through this article, we’ll share some of the best options for all those situations so you can be sure your business offers the best communication.
The Evolution of Instant Messaging Software
While it might seem like instant messaging is new, that isn’t true. The concept behind instant messaging goes back to the 60s. Operating systems made for multiple users were created at MIT in 1961 and allowed people to message one another.
In the 70s, a peer-to-peer protocol was being worked on, eventually allowing educational labs and schools to enjoy communication between different people on the same computer. Moving into the 80s, Unix was used to find and send messages between users. Some places still use this service today.
The Commodore 64 in 1982 had Internet that would eventually become America Online. Users could pay a fee to send messages to others using a modem. Recipients could respond or ignore the message.
The 90s caused an explosion in instant messaging apps. ICQ was launched in 1996 and quickly gained tons of users. AIM was put out in 1997 and was popular with younger users. Then, in 1998, Yahoo Messenger came out, followed by MSN Messenger in 1999.
In the 2000s, Facebook Chat, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Snapchat were all released and changed the landscape of instant messaging apps. As of 2015, more than three billion were using at least one instant messaging app. That number will likely continue to grow in the future.
The Best Instant Messaging App for External Business Communication
One of the essential requirements for a business is a way to speak with customers. Instant messaging apps are now a common way to provide customer support. These are often free apps that generate leads, connect with customers, and provide a simple live chat option on websites.
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WhatsApp is the most used instant messaging app available on the web, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. It offers group chats, video and voice calls, texting, and file sharing. WhatsApp for business also provides a business profile and other features needed for your brand.
Facebook Instant Messenger
Facebook Messenger is found on the web, Windows, iOS, and Android and is in line just behind WhatsApp. It’s available everywhere except China. If you have a Facebook page, it’s easy to use. It can give you live chat, generate leads, and create scannable codes.
WeChat is an instant messenger app available on iOS and Android. It offers messaging, e-payments, and social media functions. It can also be used to launch ad campaigns as a bonus. It’s also an excellent choice for those who need to speak with customers in China.
Choosing Instant Messaging for Business Team Communication
Business instant messaging apps are helpful for internal real-time communication. Many also offer a wide variety of administrative options and robust collaboration features. Some have a free trial or offer a free version, while others are paid.
Discord offers push-to-talk functionality and new features for businesses. It has a voice chat separate from the text chat and integrations to Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and more. While it was made for video games, it’s now being utilized by companies thanks to its great features. The free version has many functions, or you can subscribe to a Nitro Plan for $9.99 per month.
Next up is Mattermost, an open-source solution for instant messaging for businesses. Direct and group chats are alongside video, voice, and screen-sharing options. You can customize everything about the chat to make it work for you. It comes in at $3.25 per month per user, or there is a scalable option for $.8.50 per month per user.
Thirteen million users are on Microsoft Teams daily, which has gained popularity over other business IM solutions. It integrates with Office 365, a typical software suite used in corporate environments. Bots walk you through using the system, and about 200 integrations are available. For Business Essentials, Microsoft Teams is $5 per month per user, while Premium is $12.50 per month per user.
The Benefits of Free Instant Messaging for Business
There’s more to business instant marketing than getting and sending messages quickly. After you select the right app for your company, you will experience a suite of benefits listed below:
- Camaraderie: These programs are perfect for marking business occasions, handling team-building activities, and sharing team victories as a group.
- Control: With business instant messengers, you can change things to meet the needs of the team or company. Authorize users one at a time and manage the communication spaces, features, and contacts to create a professional and productive place for internal team members.
- Features: The instant messaging apps of today do more than let people chat. You can often collaborate, share files and screens, and talk via video or voice.
- Records and compliance: A variety of IMs for businesses provide logs on user activities. This lets you ensure compliance with regulations and can help track who is being the most productive.
- Security: Peer-to-peer channels, end-to-end encryption, and antivirus services create excellent security for your communications. This is especially the case when used with tight controls.
How to Select the Right Instant Messenger App for Your Business
Every business needs an instant messaging app. Billions are using these apps compared to other communication options. With enhanced productivity and security, instant messenger technology is essential for any company.
However, there may be better solutions than choosing a single instant messenger app. These apps shouldn’t be used for team communication. Instead, consider personal IM apps to answer questions from customers. It’s best to choose a version that has end-to-end encryption.
On the other hand, choose a messenger designed for business for collaboration and chat for internal teams. The productivity tools, administrative control features, and security protocols keep data safe while offering exceptional teamwork and communication.
When choosing an instant messaging app, consider external and internal needs. This might show you that a free public messenger is the best choice, or it could turn you in the direction of choosing business communication systems instead.
Work with Esendex to Streamline Your Business Communications
Those who want a business-oriented solution can work with Esendex to maximize customer reach through SMS APIs. Instead of relying only on messaging, you can quickly send mass messages through text. Our SMS API platform lets you send thousands of texts in just seconds.
Some extra features of our SMS APIs include MMS messaging API, SMS encoding, short and long codes, and two-way texting. These will help you reach out to more customers than you could in the past. Contact us today to learn more about your team and customer communication options.
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