GroupMe

GroupMe is a group messaging application that provides useful and interactive features for group communications. GroupMe chats hold 2 to 500 members. Common uses for GroupMe include:

  • Chats between a group of friends
  • Communication for large families
  • Planning an event
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Sending or stockpiling multiple images for the whole group to access
  • Giving regular updates to a large group

Because GroupMe is free and doesn’t limit the number of messages that can be sent per group or in a given time period, it’s a popular alternative to SMS group texts. However, because it lacks security, business-level customer support, and popular collaboration software features, it’s typically not used in enterprise settings.

Released in 2010, GroupMe was purchased by Skype in 2011. As of 2021, both GroupMe and Skype are owned by Microsoft.

GroupMe features

  • A mobile app and a desktop web app; on the desktop version, users can view two chats at once if their screen is wide enough.
  • Photo, video, and document sharing from a user’s device. Users can upload files to a chat, with a 50-MB size limit.
  • Ability to mute groups or direct chats; they will not show up in the main chat menu, nor will users receive push notifications from them.
  • GroupMe-specific emojis.
  • Chat gallery that shows all images and gifs sent to the group.
  • Chat management features. These include creating and deleting groups, adding and removing members, and making a group admin-managed only, which prevents anyone who didn’t create the group from adding members.
  • Message deletion within 60 minutes of sending a message. Up to an hour after sending a message, a user can choose to click and delete it. After the deletion, the other members of the group will see This message has been deleted. However, the message will still show as a notification on a recipient’s home phone screen if they haven’t opened the chat yet.

Is GroupMe good for small businesses?

GroupMe isn’t suited for large businesses because it doesn’t have enterprise technical support, security features, or collaboration features like boards and integrations. However, since it’s primarily a group texting app, it can be useful for very small businesses to have group discussions. If a startup or small company doesn’t have the finances to pay for a communication app or suite, GroupMe allows simple file sharing features and unlimited conversation. It’s easy to add new members to a group, where they can then access the resources that have been shared within the chat.

GroupMe also works in multiple countries. If you have a small business that’s geographically distant, GroupMe is a simple workaround to text and call restrictions.

Is GroupMe secure?

The downside to free communication apps is that they lack the security settings of paid business software. GroupMe doesn’t have the privacy measures of other software like Slack or Microsoft Teams. GroupMe does state that it never shares users’ personal information with others, and no certain records of third-party selling exist at the time of this writing.

A company using GroupMe for internal communication would want to make sure it isn’t used for any sensitive company data, such as sales or client info. They would also need to be able to remove users from a conversation upon the employee’s termination. But just removing someone from a group doesn’t ensure that every bit of company data is gone from the terminated employee’s device, which creates data protection problems, too.

Because GroupMe is generally used as a personal communication app, using it for business can blur the lines between personal and work discussions, prompting:

  • Casual treatment of work issues and conversations
  • Decreased work-life balance or greater focus on work, causing an employee to work additional hours

GroupMe also lacks enterprise-level customer support, and if important company data is all circulating in the app when it has issues, Microsoft might not be able to provide assistance in a timely manner.

Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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