I am presenting 10 of the best tools for managing a chat system, either one-on-one or a team chat. You need to find the one that will best fit your needs.
A fast-growing solution for team collaboration is HipChat. I really like this product because it offers more than just a chat interface. You can share files through any of the HipChat applications for web, mobile, or desktop computers. The group chat is also helpful because users can embed photos or other types of media which need to be shared.
Among many other projects online, Basecamp and Campfire have been an excellent choice for Internet-based companies. Their Basecamp service allow managers to assign tasks, group notes, and file downloads. It is such a powerful way to organize any project online with any number of people.
3. Google Chat/Hangouts
With Google+ now online it is common to find people you know within their network. Facebook was created for more of a personal connection to friends and family, while Google+ does seem to have a more professional overtone. Their Google Chat/Google Hangouts feature is an easy way to have conversations with a single person or groups of people.
4. Grove IRC
A newer startup called Grove is a private IRC host for managing chat rooms. IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat which connects into many popular Instant Messaging clients. There are even free web-based IRC scripts for accessing different chat rooms (known as channels).
If I had to recommend the best choice for a new startup it would be Redbooth, previously Teambox. The webapp allows any company under 5 users to run their account for free indefinitely. This comes with 5GB of personal storage, plus integration with Google Drive and Dropbox. Each account has so many features like tasks, notes, and most definitely chats. They are labeled as conversations which can include 1 or more people. The conversations may also be archived and stored for free in the account. Also their whole backend interface is very sleek. Being able to use this for free when just getting started is a great marketing choice to keep people using their application. If you have never seen the Redbooth website I highly recommend looking over their features to see what is possible.
Flowdock does have some great features to make it work as a constant means of communication. But it is also very slim with features in comparison to full project management tools. It is branded as a “team inbox with chat” that offers mobile and desktop applications.
Now aside from chat systems I think Hall does a really good job of solving project management. Their application is free to use for a personal account when just getting started. It is worthwhile to sign up and see what is possible, spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with the interface.
Another really cool solution named Podio is not only for chat. It is a full backend management suite for projects that need to handle multiple users. Their signup is free under 5 team members and you can try out a large number of their applications using this free account. These apps include to-do tasks, calendars, and of course chatrooms.
If you are looking for a classic team chat solution then Jaconda must be a fantastic choice. It is free for 30 days and it does have some costs associated with a paid account. However their services include a number of chatrooms with support for very large teams, think medium-to-large companies in size.
Azendoo is another one of these free personal services where you can try an account without ever paying any money. It is a project management system which allows for a fullb The chat system is very similar to Facebook where you can get notifications and private messages. You can also leave comments on certain tasks based on projects in the group.