This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (January 2018)
Type of businessSubsidiary
FoundedMay 2010; 13 years ago (2010-05)
OwnerMicrosoft Corporation
Key peopleJared Hecht
Steve Martocci
ParentSkype Technologies

GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app owned by Microsoft. It was launched in May 2010 by the private company GroupMe.[1][2] In August 2011, GroupMe delivered over 100 million messages each month[3] and by June 2012, that number jumped to 550 million.[4] In 2013, GroupMe had over 12 million registered users.[5]


Grouply, the app that would become GroupMe, was created in May 2010, at a hackathon at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.[6] Its creators, Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci, intended the app to replace email chains as a method of communication. After investors took notice of the app, Hecht and Martocci took a loan from Hecht's parents and began working on their app full time. The name was changed to GroupMe in August. The same month, GroupMe raised $85,000 from investors. The app was released on the App Store in October 2010.[7]

In January 2011, GroupMe received US$10.6 million in venture capital from Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, angel investors, and others.[7][8] In August 2011, Skype acquired the one-year-old start-up for around $80 million.[9] Skype had itself been purchased by Microsoft in May 2011, with the purchase finalized in October 2011.[10] The app underwent a redesign in late 2012.[11]

Initially, groups were limited to 100 members, but a support request could get a group's limit raised as high as necessary as it approached the limit. In 2019, GroupMe stopped offering group member limit increases; however, the app increased the standard limit from 100 to 5000.[12]


GroupMe works by downloading the app or accessing the service online, and then forming an account by providing your name, cell phone number and a password, or connecting through a Facebook or Twitter account.[13] The service then syncs with your contacts and from that point forward the user can make groups, limited to 5000 members. An individual who is part of an active group has the ability to turn off notifications for the app; users will still receive the message, but will not be notified about it. Each group is given a label and assigned a unique number. Some of the features of the app include the ability to share photos, videos, locations, create events, and emojis from various packs.

GroupMe has a web client as well as apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 10. GroupMe messages can be received and sent through SMS (available only in the United States).[14] Users begin by creating a “group” and adding contacts. When someone sends a message, everyone in the group can see and respond to it. The app allows users to attach and send pictures, documents, videos and web-links. Users can also send private messages, but only to users who are also active on the GroupMe app.[15]

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GroupMe has been used as a means for studying the usage of messaging clients in educational settings. Usage cases include facilitating online course discussions, small group work, and other course communications for both in-person and online sections.[16] Research may suggest that students who use GroupMe and other social platforms to facilitate discussion in an environment where they already interact encourages rhetorical thinking and overall engagement. Researchers have found alternatives for literacy learning as a "legitimate academic genre", given a student population that communicates in variety of modes. Research around GroupMe furthers the argument that computer-mediated communication is a valuable space for learning in an increasingly globalized society.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "About GroupMe". Retrieved 8 February 2023.
  2. ^ "Inception: A Hackday Dream (The Story Of GroupMe)". Tech Crunch. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  3. ^ Shontell, Alyson. "A Year In The Life Of An $11 Million Startup, GroupMe". Business Insider. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  4. ^ Wauters, Robin (July 18, 2012). "GroupMe has 4.6m users sending 550m messages per month, court documents show". The Next Web.
  5. ^ "GroupMe compared to competitors". Archived from the original on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  6. ^ Arrington, Michael (25 August 2011). "GroupMe, Born At TechCrunch Disrupt, Secures Funding And Launches". Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b Shontell, Alyson (22 August 2011). "How GroupMe Sold For $85 Million Just 370 Days After Launch". Insider. Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  8. ^ Wortham, Jenna (10 March 2011). "Start-Ups Are in a Rush to Bring the Chat Room to the Smartphone". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  9. ^ Ante, Spencer E. (22 August 2011). "Skype to Acquire Start-Up GroupMe". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ "GroupMe, Gilt Groupe, Jon Bon Jovi Launch SummerQAmp To Create More Quality Assurance Jobs". TechCrunch. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  11. ^ Megan Rose Dickey (2012-11-07). "GroupMe Chat App Gets A New Look". Business Insider. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  12. ^ "How do I increase a group limit in GroupMe?". GroupMe. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "GroupMe - Group text messaging with GroupMe".
  14. ^ "Do I need a smartphone to use GroupMe?". GroupMe Support. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  15. ^ Jacobsson, Sarah (2012-02-26). "GroupMe App Review: Perfect for Coordinating With Friends | TechHive". Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  16. ^ Gronseth, Susie; Hebert, Waneta (2019-01-01). "GroupMe: Investigating Use of Mobile Instant Messaging in Higher Education Courses". TechTrends. 63 (1): 15–22. doi:10.1007/s11528-018-0361-y. ISSN 1559-7075. S2CID 69857201. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  17. ^ Quang, Ly (Spring 2020). "The Case for GroupMe: Rhetorical Thinking Thrives Among Students Using App" (PDF). Journal of Literacy and Technology. 21 (1: Spring / Summer 2020). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 July 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2023.