GroupMe: You Heard It Here First!

Editor’s note: This blog post kicks off a series of guest posts from my social media students at Eastern Michigan University. Follow the conversations at #sm379 and @ginaluttrell.

Written by Mary Bocksdownload

Throughout our relationships in life, whether they be in person or via social media, we naturally form “groups,” or categories in which these specific relationships fall. Some within our network are mere acquaintances from school or work; others are close friends we’ve established over time and commonalities. Regardless of the circumstances that bring about such relationships, they all require an extent of communication in order to survive.

Known as “the best way to chat with everyone you know,” GroupMe has created a unique way to do just that, though more efficiently and conveniently than ever before.

Similar to separating your contacts into circles on Google+, GroupMe is an app that allows you to do the same with the contacts on your phone. It mimics a group text scenario and it allows you to have consistent conversation with the members. Not only this, but GroupMe also allows users to share pictures, like certain conversation posts, invite and include contacts who don’t have the app, and use the “Balanced” feature to collect money from other group members.

The app also has its own news page on which the latest updates and changes in the app are posted to keep users up to speed!

There are a few things that draw me to this app specifically:

1)     I can turn my notifications off in a single group (or in all groups) without tampering with my phone’s text messaging alerts. This is incredibly convenient when I’m in a meeting, in class, or simply don’t want to be disturbed. (It won’t even vibrate or send you a push notification, but will simply store the messages until you reopen the app).

2)     The app can be used in 11 different languages, making it easy for a bilingual student to continually practice his/her second language.

3)     This app makes it incredibly easy to keep in touch with specific members of a group without continually blowing up my phone with text messages.

4)     The “Balanced” feature allows a convenient way for a group of people to pitch in money towards a certain event or item without the complication of one person fronting the bill or exchanging money in person.

5)     Any pictures shared between the contacts within the group will be saved into the gallery, which makes it easy to look back on all the memories we have shared.

6)     When giving directions, it enables you to pinpoint your location and send a clip of your whereabouts on a map. This feature also allows them to get directions to your location through the “Maps” app.

7)     The app has its own version of emoticons!

8)     It allows you to conveniently have a conference call with all of the group members.

groupme1

While this app has been convenient for my strictly social needs, I think it could be very beneficial in the public relations world. Why? Simply because it is all about convenient communication with specific groups of people! GroupMe can productively help a group to plan an event, discuss details of a meeting/plan/etc. or combine and collect funds for a specific goal. It gives members a convenient and efficient place to converse.

Here’s the breakdown of what I think:

Pros:

– Easy, efficient, and convenient.

– Notifications can be silenced without tampering with text alerts.

-Conveniently allows conference calls.

-Locations can be mapped quickly and easily.

-Pictures can be shared and are then conveniently kept in the group photo gallery.

-Allows contacts without the app to be included simply through an SMS message.

-Usable in 11 different languages.

-Enables users to combine and collect money safely from other members.

-Has its own version of emoticons.

-It can be used on any device.

Cons:

-I think it would be beneficial to enable the creation of categories within a certain group. This allows groups to have consistent discussions and the thoughts don’t get lost in the feed.

-Not everyone knows about it yet!

family_chat_spread

Last but not least,  you can easily download the app on any smart phone device at your app store!

“Lifechanger… utterly indispensable… Whether or not you think you need group texting in your life, you won’t know how you lived without it once you give it a shot.”


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