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7 Group Chat Apps Better than Your Family Text Thread

There’s a better way to talk to your family and friends.

best group chat apps in 2024

Group messaging can be tricky. Conversations overlap, messages are missed, and often everyone’s using a different type of device. Planning a night out or vacation is challenging in one thread—details easily get lost and booking deadlines can be missed. Over time, your text thread goes quiet and you feel disconnected (which can impact your health). But worry not, there’s a better way! 

Search any app store and you’ll find free texting apps and messengers that make group chatting easier. These apps are more than just a text thread, and they often have more features that make messaging entertaining. If you’re looking for a better way to communicate with your friends and family, you’ve come to the right place. Scroll on for a comprehensive list of the seven best group chat apps in 2024.

1. HeyFam

When it comes to free texting apps, HeyFam (by Chatbooks) is by far the most fun to use. Bias aside, HeyFam is designed for families, by families. The app’s features make chatting with friends and family easy and engaging. The best part, it’s compatible with iPhone and Android (no more green bubbles!) and it’s the best way to share photos with anyone, anywhere.

Everything you need to know about HeyFam:

  • HeyFam has a user-friendly, aesthetic design that’s great for all ages from teenagers to grandparents
  • Keep track of conversations with topic-based Rooms—plan vacations, talk sports, debate politics, share today’s Wordle, or anything you can imagine
  • Say goodbye to blurry photos and crackling audio when sharing photos and videos across devices. Now, you can share your vacation pics and family milestones without losing quality
  • The app is ad- and spam-free. Create your invite-only group and never worry about random people spamming you through a messaging app again. Plus, HeyFam will never sell your data
  • HeyFam is available for iOS, Android, and web so you can connect with your friends and family from anywhere

Want to download the app? Learn more about how you can use HeyFam to share, plan, and connect with your family and friends.

2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the top texting apps on a mission to build reliable and fast messaging. According to WhatsApp, the app is currently used by over 2 billion people around the globe. The app allows you to send and receive text, voice, and video messages.

What’s great about WhatsApp:

  • International communication without international fees 
  • Communicate with your group through voice or video calls
  • Messages are encrypted and secure

What’s not-so-great about WhatsApp:

  • Two words: spam messages.
  • Requires a strong internet connection to use
  • Data privacy could be a future issue since Meta owns WhatsApp
3. Slack

Slack, like HeyFam, allows you to create separate channels for different topics and reply to messages in threads or react with emojis. But, Slack is designed for productivity—it’s great for work, but not so much for regularly communicating with friends and family.

What’s great about Slack: 

  • Channels help organize conversations
  • Talk with multiple people through video or voice calls
  • Connect apps (like Google Calendar) to keep track of events

What’s not-so-great about Slack: 

  • Designed for teams, not families or friend groups
  • Requires a strong internet connection to use
  • If you use it for work, disconnecting from your job may be challenging
4. GroupMe

GroupMe is one of the original group chat apps to hit the app store. The app organizes groups in one view, making it easy to track school projects and sports teams.

What’s great about GroupMe:

  • Send group messages or DMs from one place
  • Poll your group to make shared decisions
  • Join your group without sharing your phone number

What’s not-so-great about GroupMe: 

  • Similar format to texting, which can get disorganized quickly
  • Recent reviews say the app is buggy and has issues with photo sharing
5. Geneva

A newer app on the market, Geneva is a group chat app designed for communities. You can use Geneva to discover people in your area based on interest. 

What’s great about Geneva:

  • Join audio-only rooms or video calls to connect with other group members
  • Create polls to quickly gather group feedback
  • Give control to different people by assigning permissions as needed

What’s not-so-great about Geneva: 

  • Chat room format can get overwhelming if there are too many
  • Geneva has public groups where anyone can join and conversations can get messy
  • When groups get bigger, it’s hard to maintain engagement and connection
6. Messenger

Messenger (owned by Meta) is an app that uses your Facebook or Instagram account to send messages between users. 

What’s great about Messenger:

  • Easy sign-in with your Facebook or Instagram account
  • Share posts social media posts easily mid-scroll

What’s not-so-great about Messenger: 

  • Similar to WhatsApp, data privacy could be a future issue since Meta owns Messenger
  • The single-thread group chat means overlapping and unorganized conversations
  • Possibility for spam messages if privacy settings aren’t correctly set
7. MarcoPolo

Marco Polo is a video-only messaging app that allows you to send video messages back and forth with friends and family. The app is ad-free, which is a plus, and uses your contact list to connect with friends and family.

What’s great about MarcoPolo:

  • Messages sent are stored in the app for you to review later
  • Take notes while viewing a message with the Scratchpad feature

What’s not-so-great about MarcoPolo: 

  • Video chat only can be limiting or difficult for some people to use
  • Not an easy way to plan events or share memories
  • Conversation threads can still get messy and disorganized

Group chat apps are a great way to strengthen connections with your family and friends without overwhelming text threads. Messaging apps make starting conversations with your kids, siblings, extended family, and friends easy while staying organized. Looking for one of the best group chat apps in 2024? We recommend you try out HeyFam.

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