HipChat is fantastic, however:
4/25/2014: HipChat Changed Their TOS To Allow Admins Access to 1-1 Chat History
4/27/2014: Response from HipChat regarding 1-1 chat access by admins - Who can view chat history and files
Edit: 10/19/2014: Slack is awesome (and is taking over the world).
Reviews from HipChat TOS Change Hacker News Thread:
We use Slack at my company (switched to it from Kato) and we're very happy with it.
-- coolsunglasses on Hacker News
Same [referring to above quote]. Though, it seems a tad overpriced. It is a very nice platform though -- fidlefodl on Hacker News
Somewhat tangential to this story, but we recently moved our team over from HipChat to Slack . I initially thought that we'd miss the sheer number of integrations HipChat offers, but Slack seems to cover almost all of the ones we use regularly and some HipChat doesn't yet offer, like Asana. -- shravan on Hacker News
Our team tried out Slack, but the Mac app isn't native, just a rather weak wrapper around the normal web page. And the web experience just isn't as good as HipChat. Also, no in-app voice/video integration that I could find. HipChat's one-on-one video is great, although waht I really wish for is conferencing built in. Google Hangouts is just too annoying to set up (first it pesters me about signing up for Google Plus, which I don't want, then it shows a blank screen with a "start a hangout" button, then it opens a GH video in a separate window, which is just stupid), and doesn't have a desktop app. -- lobster_johnson on Hacker News
"The world's fastest business chat."
ChatGrape allows you to manage your cloud services right from the chat, allowing your business to move twice as fast.
Core features are:
- The world's only Grape Browser that allows you to access your company's issues, appointments and files right as you type
- External Services like Giphy and Youtube browsable without leaving the service
- Markdown and code inside the chat
- The indexAPI, allowing you to add your company data to the ChatGrape index
- Special pricing for startups
- iOS, Mac OS X and Android Apps
- Open Source: Encrypted OTR P2P Messaging in the making
- a lot more to come
A BYOS (Bring Your Own Server) chat app for small teams.
- Persistent messages
- Multiple rooms
- New message alerts / notifications
- Mentions (hey @you)
- Image embeds
- Code pasting
- File uploads
- Transcripts / chat history
- XMPP Multi-user chat (MUC)
- Local / Kerberos / LDAP authentication
- Hubot Adapter
- REST-like API
- MIT Licensed
An Open Source Alternative to HipChat and so much more.
Gitter is chat, for Github.
Currently the service is in beta, but will soon be moving across to a paid model where all open-source/public rooms are always free.
- Gitter supports IRC, web and mobile web chat interfaces.
- Markdown in your chat.
- Gitter understands Github - it uses your Github organisations for security, understands commit hashes and issues and much more.
- Embedded content from external services.
- A fully-featured API
- Open-source service integration model.
- Support for Hubot.
- Much, much, more.
Hosted IRC and so much more.
- web UI for your less techie team members
- SSL for all communications
- Searchable chat archive
- Integrations with GitHub, Heroku, Bitbucket, Pivotal Tracker, and more
- Desktop and email notifications when you're not online
Self-Hosted Team Chat App
- Works on mobile devices ~!
- Easy to install
- Multiple rooms
- Sound notifications
- Code snippets
- /me status messages
- Comes with an API (docs)