Personally, I find it too easy to be distracted by non-work conversations when I reuse the chat feature of, say, a social media tool.
I like to keep work separate so I can turn off personal communications when I'm at work, and vice versa. Recently, Slack has quickly become the darling of software development circles, leading to displacement of many other tools.
As a remote team of 12, we've come to depend on Google Hangout video calls for our weekly standup meetings.
The tool is free, quick to access and familiar to everyone on the team.
There's still a perception out there in some circles that chat applications can be a distraction, and I do believe it's important to have a commitment to reel in off-topic threads before they create a cognitive disruption.
And it's equally important to be able to give yourself the space to work uninterrupted when you have tasks that require longer periods of concentration.
If you haven't yet conducted a Hangout, you'll be prompted to download a plugin.