email vs instant messaging business

Back in the 70s, emails were ruling the business world as the most popular communication channel. According to Radicati, in 2020, the number of email users reached the 4 billion mark, which means that over 50% of the world’s population was using email. The latest reported number in 2022 is close to 4.26 billion. The predicted user growth rate is 3%, or around 100 million more each year for the next three years. So, in 2025, the number of email users worldwide should be approximately 4.6 billion.   

With the advent of instant messaging tools like AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and MSN Messenger in the 90s, instant messaging emerged as a strong contender against emails. Today, instant messaging accounts total more than 7 billion.  

Though both compete against each other for the top slot, they are distinctly different. While personal users prefer instant messaging, business users prefer email. Also, it has to be noted that instant messaging cannot survive on its own, as email is mandatory to sign up on any chat platform.  

Email is easily accessible, and it is preferred for long-form communication that needs to be sent to multiple recipients and archived. But when it comes to the workplace, instant messaging has an edge despite the restriction that all the users have to be on the same platform. Instant messaging enables real-time conversations and advanced collaboration in the form of audio/video calls, screen sharing, call recording and playback etc.   

Here are a few reasons that make instant messaging superior to emails

1. Facilitates collaboration

When it comes to facilitating collaboration, emails will not be able to match instant messaging. Emails have several restrictions on file transfers and file size uploads.  

Instant messaging is real-time and allows unlimited size file transfers as it focuses more on collaboration and teamwork. Instant messaging supports tools like whiteboards and screen-sharing that will enable virtual brainstorming and visualization of goals, metrics etc.  

2. Saves time

Sending emails and waiting for responses is a frustrating and painful process. According to Adobe’s email usage study, the average American spends 209 minutes a day checking their work email. On the other hand, getting in touch with team members instantly increases the speed and efficiency of collaboration.  

Instant messaging is a synchronous communication that elicits immediate responses from teammates working in various locations. Instant messaging also works offline so that your teammates can think and respond at their own pace and avoid the compulsion to be online all the time.  

3. Reduces clutter

Emails can quickly clutter up your inboxes with so many inquiries, announcements, notifications, spam, social updates, newsletters, promotions, forwards, reply-alls etc. You may have nothing to do with these emails most of the time. If you have multiple email ids, the time you spend sorting the emails will double.  

Instant messaging is direct and concise. It plays a massive role in reducing the number of emails that are sent back and forth. Group chats can target a specific team or project, reducing the unnecessary reply-alls and forwards. With effective group chat, you can experience a significant reduction in the number of emails cluttering up your inbox.  

4. Boosts productivity

People working on projects must collaborate closely, and email alone will not serve the purpose. With emails, team members will be spending most of their time waiting for responses rather than doing the actual work. Emails are more prone to spam, junk, and malware attacks, slowing down teamwork and hindering productivity.  

Instant messaging increases the communication speed between the team members. It allows team members to send and receive information in real-time, improving the response time and minimizing the waiting time.  

With instant messaging, your teams will experience a high level of engagement and lower workflow disruptions, improving overall productivity. Many studies have shown that replacing emails with instant messaging leads to a 20-25% increase in productivity.

5. Builds relationships

Emails are more formal and unsuitable for building close personal relationships, which plays a vital role in the modern collaborative environment. The impersonal and standardized nature of emails doesn’t allow team members to demonstrate their personalities.  

Instant messaging is great for building camaraderie and relationships as it allows team members to make a personal rapport and get to know each other in real-time. 

6. Safeguards data and privacy

When it comes to data security and privacy, emails are more prone to attacks like malware, phishing, ransomware and other cyber threats. According to one report, 82% of organizations have faced email-based security threats.   

In the case of internal messaging, since the stakeholders are primarily internal, there is less scope for their software to get attacked or hacked by outsiders. Though no software can be free from these security issues, with instant messaging tools there is an option for companies to go for third-party tools which help companies to bypass these risks. Most cloud-based tools come with end-to-end encryption, which ensures data security and in-built anti-virus and malware integration to protect against viruses and malware attacks.  

Problem with instant messaging

In spite of its many advantages, all is not well with instant messaging. The common grouse against most popular instant messaging tools is that teams can get stuck in long and never-ending group chats that demand their attention 24/7. It puts pressure on all team members to be online & available all the time, resulting in burnout and employee disengagement.  

Most popular tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams do not use instant messaging effectively. Also, in most of these tools, the conversations happen in broad channels and not on specific topics. Due to this, the context gets lost, and information gets buried. To avoid the stress that group chat creates, many team members resort to direct chat, creating information silos and knowledge opacity.   

Besides, these tools only focus on chats, but the information is shared in many other ways, such as emails, online documents, and social media. There is no way to bring active conversations from all these different forms in chat channels.  

How Clariti's instant messaging is different from other chat tools

Clariti is one of the best team messaging apps. Unlike other messaging tools, in Clariti, there are no chat channels. There is no need to track all the chats in the channels constantly. Any Clariti user can start a group chat and add members as needed. Existing members can be removed, and new members added based on the conversation flow. This way, users are alerted to join a chat only when necessary.  

Also, instead of replacing emails with chats, Clariti has combined email with chat for team communications. While Clariti doesn’t discourage people from using emails, it has made it unnecessary when communicating with other Clariti users.   

When you receive an email in Clariti, you can start chatting from the same email with other Clariti participants. This reduces email forwards and time wasted in copy-pasting contents in chats.   

Besides, Clariti maintains the connection between the original email and subsequent chat, thereby making it easy to reference the context of the discussion at any time. So, in Clariti, both email and chat can co-exist without conflict or redundancy.  


When it comes to choosing between email and instant messaging at work, instant messaging offers many advantages that email can’t match. Blending real-time communication like instant messaging and collaboration tools like screen sharing and voice calling synchronizes teamwork and improves workplace efficiency.   

With Clariti, you need not restrict yourself to just instant messaging. You can do more with Clariti to dramatically improve how you communicate, collaborate, delegate, and more!  

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