The 7 best apps for all your group chats

The 7 best apps for all your group chats

You’re probably in more group chats than you’d like. Old college friends, the neighbors, the basketball team, the parents from the kid’s school, everyone from last year’s ski vacation, and it goes on.

While most messaging apps have group chat features—as do social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter—you’ll find that some apps are better than others at managing conversations between multiple people.

Choosing the right app for your next group chat requires thinking about what you need, including the maximum number of participants, what customization options are available, and extras like video calling.

Google Chat

With apps changing names and logos, or disappearing altogether, Google’s messaging app strategy hasn’t been the easiest to follow, but now it seems the company has committed to Google Chat. The platform is clean, fast, good at finding past conversations and tightly integrated with other apps, such as Gmail, so you’ll often find it close at hand.

[Related: These are the best messaging apps for your phone]

Here, group chats can include up to 150 participants, with all the basics covered, including file sharing. The platform also has a more advanced group chat option called Spaces, where you can assign tasks to people, use Slack-like threaded conversations, and customize the group name. It’s more for teams at work, but you can still use it for whatever you want.

Google Chat is free for web, Androidand iOS.

What’s up

WhatsApp is a real powerhouse when it comes to regular one-on-one chats. But group chats are also among its fortes, and when it comes to consistently pushing out new features, the Meta-owned platform is one of the best. WhatsApp includes a wealth of tools – including chat, video calling, voice memos, location sharing and end-to-end encryption.

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Set up a group chat on WhatsApp and you can add up to 512 people, which is surely enough for even the busiest of discussions. In addition to sharing files, in a group chat you will be able to create polls, make audio and video calls with all participants, set up self-destructing messages and customize the chat with its own name and icon.

What’s up is free for web, Androidand iOS.


Snapchat isn’t the first app you might think of for messaging, but if you already like the app, it can be great for group chats, as you can quickly share self-destructing photos, videos, and text.

Group chats can have up to 100 members on Snapchat, and there’s also the ability to share locations and start audio or video calls from these chats. If you want to up your chat game, Snapchat now has a $4-a-month subscription that gives you access to a web app and some extra goodies, including custom mobile app icons and story view counts.

Snapchat is free for web, Androidand iOS. Unlock extra features with a $4 monthly subscription.


Discord is similar to Slack in that it offers public and private channels for more open discussion as well as closed one-on-one chats and group conversations with up to 10 participants. But if you need a broader discussion, you can set up a server that can handle thousands of individuals and dozens of custom channels.

Group chats and channels can involve audio and video calls, file sharing, and other cool features like the ability to mention users and pin messages to the top of the chat. You can also pay for a Nitro subscription, starting at $3 a month, to access more features like custom stickers and the ability to share larger files.

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Disagreement is free for web, Androidand iOS. Additional features are available with a Nitro subscription starting at $3 a month.

Facebook Messenger

Although the number of people using Facebook is decreasing, many of us are still hanging on to our accounts. This means that if you use Facebook Messenger for your group chats, you don’t have to convince all your friends and family members to switch to a new app. That said, there are plenty of other reasons to use it too.

Group chats can include up to 250 people, and you can customize them in a number of ways, including group names and colors. File sharing is easy, and we especially like the media gallery that keeps track of all the photos and videos you’ve shared in the group. Features like end-to-end encryption and disappearing messages are also available, but optional.

Facebook Messenger is free for web, Androidand iOS.


The iMessage service built into the Apple Messages app has many impressive features, and one major drawback: It’s only available on Apple devices. If someone in your group is using an Android device, it will limit how the group chat works, so if there are a lot of Android users among your friends and family, it’s better to choose another app.

Assuming everyone is on Apple products and plans to keep it that way, you can have up to 32 people in a single group chat, which will be end-to-end encrypted by default. You can start FaceTime for video calls with a single tap, share photos, videos, audio messages and locations, and rename the group as you wish.

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iMessage is free for iOS and Mac us.


If you’re looking for a platform specifically built for group chats, try GroupMe. It has just about everything you’d expect to create and manage multiple group chats, including easy photo and video sharing, plus some useful extras like the ability to set up group events, complete with replies.

[Related: 6 secure alternatives to WhatsApp]

On this app, you can have up to 5,000 people in group chats, so unless you live in a terribly dense neighborhood, there’s little chance you’ll ever reach that limit. You can easily create polls for groups, reply to specific messages and mention other users. In addition, you can invite new people to join via e-mail, SMS and QR code.

GroupMe is free for web, Androidand iOS.

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