Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by lukesguide
With so many teams working remotely and across different time zones in 2023, organizations are looking for new ways to keep their employees connected and engaged.
Many of the world’s largest organizations including Canva, Atlassian, Shopify, and Dropbox are embracing the use of asynchronous communication tools for their remote teams!
Email and ‘text’ synchronous messaging tools are great for quick conversations or for communicating simple ideas but their utility starts to wane when tone and emotion are needed to convey important messages.
The use cases for asynchronous communication tools are endless. Some common use cases for asynchronous communication tools include video testimonials, asynchronous verbal feedback, team communications, podcast recording, sales team training, recruitment, meetings, and customer success!
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of collaboration tools (i.e. messaging apps, video conferencing, file sharing, video chat, etc) available to remote teams has exploded over the last few years and asynchronous communication tools are no different.
With so many asynchronous tools available, the task of choosing the right one for your team members can be daunting! To help you get back some of your own time, we have scoured the globe to find the best asynchronous communication tools for effective asynchronous communication!
If you are serious about improving team collaboration and work-life balance for remote teams working across multiple time zones, check our list of the 7 best asynchronous communication tools available today.
Let’s get started.
Launched in March 2021, Vouch is the new kid on the block when it comes to asynchronous video messaging tools but they have built something pretty special in a short amount of time.
In just over 12 months, Vouch has gone from launching its MVP to a small group of beta users, to 5,000 customers using the tool in 82 countries around the world. Vouch has laser focus when it comes to building a tool that those of us in remote work environments can feel like they are in the same room as their colleagues.
With $8 million of fresh capital in the kitty, you can bet there will be some great new features added to an already sleek product.
The sheer number of features and excellent pricing make Vouch one of the top tools for asynchronous communication on our list.
- An impressive list of integrations available on the Pro plan, including Confluence, Highspot, Hubspot, Intercom, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zapier and Zendesk
- Transcription and subtitle feature
- Advanced features, including simultaneous video, audio, and screen recording capability
- Campaign functionality to gather feedback, testimonials, updates, support ticket responses, etc
- Custom branding
- Instant sharing and embed feature
Vouch is well designed and easy to use – it is so much more than just a video message system. Straight off the bat, it becomes clear that Vouch is not just another remote team communication app. There is a short tour of the tool which is very helpful (and not annoying like some).
To start a video message (or vouch), you simply make a few clicks and start recording. It’s very easy and user-friendly.
The extensive list of integrations also makes sharing your video messages quick and easy.
The Vouch website also has a separate statement regarding EU GDPR and they also provide a copy of their data protection agreement (DPA) template (which appears to contain the older version of the standard contractual clauses – although organizations have until 22 December 2022 to update their clauses inline with the latest version).
Appendix 2 to the DPA provides some great information about Vouch’s organizational and technical security measures so it is worth a read if you want specific details about security.
Vouch offers three plans with a discount on the Pro plan if you choose to pay annually:
- Basic (free) – Up to 5 users, unlimited video collection and instant sharing and embeds
- Pro – $99 per month (billed monthly) or $79 per month (billed annually) for unlimited seats, custom branding and subdomains
- Enterprise – Custom pricing. Allows customization and integration into your organization’s tech stack
- Very generous free plan
- A huge array of features
- Extensive integration options
- Great pricing for the Pro plan
- Strong focus on privacy and security
- Not a lot to dislike, to be honest. Being the new kid on the block, time will tell whether they can sustain offering such a generous product with the pricing model they have adopted. All power to them!
Best for small remote teams
Founded in 2015, Loom has over 14 million users worldwide!
Loom is an asynchronous communication tool that allows users to record quick videos of their screen and cam.
- Simultaneous camera, microphone, and desktop recording capabilities
- Instant editing
- Viewer engagement insights
- Embed links in and password-protect videos
- Record in HD
- Desktop app, mobile app, and Chrome extension
- Easy link sharing
- Huge list of integrations, including Slack, Gmail, Jira, Zendesk, and Salesforce (beta) with more on the way!
There is something very familiar about Loom – it’s kind of got a Gmail vibe to it! If you’re a Gmail user, you’ll probably love using Loom.
Loom has a super sleek UI and you can tell that the team at Loom has put in a ton of work into understanding what their customers like and dislike.
Loom takes privacy and data protection very seriously. On the Loom website, you will find not one but two privacy statements. The first statement is tailored ‘for humans’ and is very well constructed and easy to read. The second policy is a bit more detailed and goes into the nitty-gritty of Loom’s data handling practices.
Reassuringly, Loom also has a separate ‘security policy’ which goes into specific details about the enterprise-grade security measures and practices adopted by Loom to protect their customers’ valuable data.
Loom offers three plans with a discount on the Business plan if you choose to pay annually:
- Starter (free) – Up to 50 Creators Lite*, 25 videos per person, 5 mins per video
- Business – $10 per user per month (billed monthly) or $8 per user per month (billed yearly). Unlimited Creators, videos, recording length, and up to 50 Creators Lite
- Enterprise – Unlimited Creators, videos, and recording length
*Creator Lite members are free and get up to 25 videos, up to 5 mins in length, and have access to Starter plan features.
- Great selection of integrations with more being added in the future
- Big emphasis on privacy and security with upgraded privacy/security features made available as organizations move up in plans
- Amazing help center resources with lots of guides and ‘how-to videos’
- Chrome extension!
- No HD recording option on the Starter plan
Best for Enterprise
Super-sleek and feature-rich, Covideo is currently the market leader when it comes to asynchronous messaging tools.
Covideo was founded in 2004 and was among the first providers of video email software. It is clear that in the 15+ years the company has been building video messaging tools, they have worked out a thing or two about offering an amazing async messaging tool.
- Easy recording with web app and mobile app options
- Create your scripts with the teleprompter feature
- Video landing page builder
- Ability to annotate and mark up videos
- Password protection and ‘one-time view’ options for video messages
- Integrations including Gmail, Chrome, Outlook, and Salesforce
- Compressed links for video sharing
- Video engagement tools, including customizable buttons for calls to action, captions, and language translation
- Extensive analytics and easy-to-use dashboard
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited free support
There are way too many features to list them all here so check out Covideo’s product page for more information.
As you would expect from the market leader in video messaging tools, Covideo is incredibly well designed and an absolute pleasure to use.
The integrations (e.g. the Gmail integration) are awesome and make recording video messages on the fly super simple.
When it comes to asynchronous collaboration tools for asynchronous communication, privacy and security are incredibly important.
From a security perspective, Covideo notes that they have implemented the appropriate organizational and technical measures required to protect their customers’ data. There isn’t much by way of details so you may wish to request further details about these measures.
Covideo offers two plans:
- Covideo Annual – $49 per user per month (billed annually). There does not appear to be an option to be billed monthly.
- Covideo Teams – Custom pricing for 5 + team members
There is no free plan offered by Covideo but there is an option to take a 7-day free trial. Covideo also offers several add-on features for an additional fee.
- A huge array of features
- Extensive integration options
- Helpful engagement analytics
- Excellent support
- No free plan is available
- Pricey when compared to other options in this list but the additional features may justify the extra cost
I first heard about YAC on Nathan Latka’s ‘The Top’ podcast. Nathan aptly described YAC as the audio version of ‘Slack’.
YAC is an asynchronous communication tool that aims to bridge the gap between direct chat messaging (i.e Slack) and live video calls (i.e. Zoom).
- One-click audio/video recording for fast asynchronous communication
- Screen sharing/recording capabilities
- Easily generate shareable links to your message
- Screen drawing/annotation capabilities for interactive communication, making it a great collaboration tool
- Transcription snippets for a sneak peek before playing a full message
YAC can also be integrated with Slack, Zoom, and Zapier.
Overall the user interface is clean and easy to navigate.
Users have the option of recording messages using YAC’s web-based application or by downloading the desktop application for a faster experience.
YAC offers two plans with a discount if you choose to pay annually:
- Free version – Unlimited Voice Messages, Screen & Cam Recording, Public Sharing Links, Yac.com Profile, Channels & Personal Connections, and View Last 100 Messages
- YAC for teams – $5 per user per month (billed monthly) or $3 per user per month (billed yearly). Unlimited Everything, Team Management, Private Groups, Transcription Search, Slack & Zapier Integration, Unlimited Message History
- Lots of use cases
- Zapier integration
- Clean user-interface
- Record anywhere using the web app, desktop app, or mobile apps (iOS and Android) for convenient asynchronous communication
- More publicly available information about data security measures and controls in place would be nice.
ZipMessage is an asynchronous communication tool for remote teams who want to communicate asynchronously with their remote team, clients, and customers. Video and audio replies are received in a thread format similar to a typical chat app.
- Record directly in your browser for fast asynchronous communication – no need to download any software
- Conversation pages for threaded replies
- Automatic transcriptions
- Option to generate private and publicly shareable links
- Multi-speed playback options
- Face, voice, screen, and text recording
- Email composer feature built-in
- Slack and Zapier integration
The way ZipMessage presents the ‘threaded’ conversation on its conversation pages is really well done and very user-friendly. As you asynchronously converse with your team or clients, each response is added to the thread in chronological order making it easy to go back and revisit conversations if needed. This feature makes using the ZipMessage asynchronous tools a breeze.
The ‘intake pages’ feature is also really great. This feature allows you to embed a video on your website and visitors can respond to that video with their video reply directly in their browser without any need to sign up to the platform or download software. This feature cuts down on friction and supports a seamless experience for visitors to your site to asynchronously converse with you.
Details of security measures are similarly absent and the policy only refers to ‘commercially acceptable means’ being adopted to protect against loss or theft of data. You may wish to request more information from the company before signing up if you have any further queries relating to the handling and security of your data.
ZipMessage offers three plans with a discount on the Business plan if you choose to pay annually:
- Free – Unlimited conversations, 30 days message history, 1-minute recording limit.
- Basic – $19 per user per month (billed monthly) or $15 per month if billed annually. Unlimited conversations, 90 days of message history, no recording limit.
- Premium – $39 per month (billed monthly) or $29 per month if billed annually for up to 5 users (additional users are charged at $6 per month per user). Unlimited conversations, unlimited message history, no recording limit.
- Some great unique features to reduce meeting frequency in the office
- Simple to use
- Lots of use cases
- Clean user interface
- Basic plan is a bit pricey when compared to similar tools on the market
Check out a demo of ZipMessage – embed code below:
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Grapevine is an asynchronous video and audio messaging tool that can be used for asynchronous learning as well as asynchronous meetings.
The tool allows teachers/students and works colleagues to collaborate/check-in daily without the time drain of live sessions/meetings.
The Grapevine tool aims to fill the communication gap and reduce the need for scheduling meetings between individuals working and/or learning remotely.
- Record video and audio messages in your browser
- Video-to-text transcription capabilities
- Private groups feature
- Share links privately or publicly
- Integrate with Slack
- Upload files from other tools
Grapevine’s user interface is incredibly clean and easy to use. It is probably the simplest, least intimidating tool out of all the tools we tested for this article.
Grapevine offers three plans with a discount on the Business plan if you choose to pay annually:
- Starter (free) – Up to 5 users* plus unlimited guests**
- Growth – $7 per user per month (billed monthly) – there does not appear to be a discount for paying annually. Up to 50 users plus unlimited guests
- Max – Custom pricing. More than 50 users plus unlimited guests
*Users have full access to all Grapevine features, including the ability to record video messages.
**Guests are similar to users, except they cannot record video messages. They can review video messages from fellow group members, and access all other features on the platform.
- Generous features on the free plan
- No credit card is required when signing up for a free plan
- Slack integration
- Limits access to previously recorded videos at 30 videos for all plans – not ideal if you want to be able to back and revisit old recordings but it isn’t a bad privacy/security feature to have a short data retention period such as this.
VocalBird is unique in this list as the company appears to have doubled down on audio-only async messaging and does not offer video messaging functionality like other tools we have tested.
This makes VocalBird super streamlined and easy to set up. If you or your organization are new to the world of async messaging outside of the usual text-only tools (i.e. Slack, Gmail, etc), VocalBird may be a great async messaging tool to get started with.
- One-touch recording
- Record audio messages directly in your browser using the Chrome extension
- Customizable privacy features, including setting the video retention period to as low as one hour
As a Chrome extension, VocalBird is incredibly simple to use and is very handy for spontaneous messaging with your remote team as it is always within easy reach directly from your browser.
When you want to start recording, you simply click on the green bird icon in your browser and click the large ‘start recording’ button. It’s that simple!
All of your recordings are accessible in your dashboard which is also easily reached within a few clicks of your mouse.
Being an EU-based business, it is clear that VocalBird understands the importance of privacy and data protection. The team at VocalBird has put their money where their mouth is and made privacy one of their tool’s key differentiators, and a significant value add.
VocalBird allows you to customize your retention period when it comes to the audio messages you create. This can be as low as one hour or you can also choose to retain recordings indefinitely.
From a security perspective, VocalBird encrypts all communications and uses Cloudflare as a firewall in front of their server. If you have signed up for the premium plan, you also have the option of password protecting your messages before sharing.
VocalBird offers two plans:
- Basic (free) – Up to 200 recordings per month with recordings kept for a maximum of one month
- Power-user – 9€ per user per month (billed monthly) – no discounts are given for paying annually. Up to 10,000 recordings per month
- Ease of use
- Big emphasis on privacy and security
- One-click cancellation if you no longer want to use the tool
- Even with the premium plan, the number of recordings is not unlimited (although 10,000 would likely be plenty)
Want to know what the difference is between asynchronous and synchronous communication?
In simple terms, Asynchronous communication differs from synchronous communication in that it does not occur in ‘real-time’.
The best example of asynchronous communication would be email, SMS, direct messaging, forums, etc.
Whereas, the best example of synchronous communication would be in-person meetings, telephone conversations, and video conferences.
In most workplaces, synchronous and asynchronous communication methods will continue to co-exist as they each have their pros and cons (for example asynchronous tools may not be suitable in situations where immediate responses are required) but there’s no doubt that many organizations will have adopted asynchronous communication in the future.
Unlike the usual remote team communication tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, asynchronous communication tools allow participants on both sides of a conversation to start, pause, and resume conversational messaging on their terms, eliminating the need to wait for a direct live connection (such as video conference or phone calls).
Asynchronous messaging can be done through text, audio, or video and can be more efficient than real-time communication which requires an immediate response (e.g. remote team meetings).
The 7 best asynchronous communication tools – that’s all folks!
We hope you have found this guide helpful. Hopefully, you leave us not only have a better idea of the best asynchronous communication tools on the market today but a better understanding of asynchronous tools in general.