Kato.im, a business communication service provider, just announced the launch of its new product, Kato Teams —  a free professional chat solution offering live 1:1 and group messaging, file sharing and search capabilities.

It's designed to improve the efficiency of business communication, according to the Oakland, Calif.-based company.

Kato Teams aims to bring the best of IM and email functionality to the enterprise, at zero cost to businesses.

How Does it Work?

At its very basic level, Kato Teams can be used the same way as SMS or any chat application. But you can take it a few steps further by uploading or simply pasting images into the conversation. This is tremendously useful, for example when having a professional discussion about design, as users can quickly paste screenshots into the conversation while discussing them in real-time.

Kato Teams also enables multiple, side-by-side conversations from a single window, as well as multi-organization capabilities, allowing businesses to seamlessly communicate with external contractors, designers, freelancers and vendors all on one screen, utilizing only one tab within your browser. Additionally, its global search functionality allows members to identify important conversations and company information through a comprehensive archive of all previous communications.

Other neat features like screen sharing and video sharing are available through Kato Labs, the experimental arm of the product. Kato Teams also offers third party integrations with dozens of service providers, such as GitHub and ZenDesk, to aggregate notifications from multiple tools into a single, searchable stream of information.

How’s it Different?

Kato Teams boasts that it is currently the only 100 percent free chat solution for the enterprise without any of the restrictions and paywalls associated with other chat providers, such as limitations on team members, message history stored, multi-team and multi-company functionality, and third-party integrations.

Aside from its totally free pricing structure, what makes Kato different from competitors like Yammer and tibbr?