The Brief: GroupMe is a free group messaging app.
Similar to WhatsApp and imo, GroupMe allows users to send messages through the app using WiFi. GroupMe also allows users to send messages as SMS, using their phone’s texting plan. It is the #6 ranked social networking app on The App Store.
Privacy & Safety
Teens may be attracted to GroupMe because it allows them to communicate with their friends without using up their phone’s data and messaging plan. As with any other messaging app, there are risks of sexting, bullying, meeting strangers, and invasions of privacy.
Users can send each other emojis and GIFs through GroupMe. Some emojis are free, while others are available for in-app purchase. The GIFs and emojis on the app sometimes feature adult content including depictions of alcohol, drugs, profanity, or sex.
Due to the group nature of the app, users can be added to group messages with people that they don’t know.
Within the app, there is an internet search bar, which children and teens could use without the restrictions parents may have imposed on the phone’s other search engines.
To ensure that your kids are using GroupMe safely, make sure that you have conversations with them about general online safety practices, media literacy, and privacy.