I'm not a highly social person, so I don't have loads of friends I'm always keeping in touch with -- I hate social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. I suppose I also don't care enough about what other random people say to use something like Reddit. :)

But I do have a very particular group of buddies with whom I keep in close contact. We basically have an ongoing group SMS chat going (and recently switched to GroupMe).

However, while most of us seem to have a lot to say at various times, we're all very busy too, and it can be terribly difficult keeping up with the many different conversations going on in a single group chat when you haven't checked the chat in a day or two!

In the old days (before smart phones) I used to keep in touch with my friends using private message boards -- which was nice because it was topic-centric, but seems clumsy, slow, and over the top in the Cloud/Mobility era. I'm somewhat familiar with business-oriented team chat products like Flowdock, Slack, and HipChat, and these seem to each offer their own approach to topic-centric chat, but of course they're focused on work teams.

Are there any group chat-style apps for both Android and iPhone that support threaded or topic-centric chat for a specific group of friends?

Edit: Also, I'd prefer to keep it private, just between our group, and not available for the world to see (like on Twitter or whatever).

  • @wingedpanther -- From what I can tell, this doesn't seem to meet the requirements. I'm looking for a straightforward, closed-group-oriented, topic-focused discussion app, not an open chat/social networking/calling app.
    – Brian Lacy
    May 22, 2015 at 14:13
  • You can just search "threaded group chat" or "threaded group messaging" on App Store. Right now, the only search result is Princle: Princle - Organized Group Chat (princle.com) which looks like exactly what you are looking for.
    – user23380
    May 1, 2016 at 0:49

2 Answers 2


Telegram is one of the many chat apps that supports groups. You can easily create a group chat on a particular topic and add as many people as you want to it. Only the people you add to a group chat can see the conversation and participate, it's not public.

As I said, there are many others that support this, so here are some points that make me suggest Telegram over the others:

  • Completely free (as in gratis)
  • No ads
  • Open protocol
  • Multiplatform (iOS, Android, WP, desktop computers, browsers, etc)
  • Encription
  • Nice UI

Hope you like it.

  • I'm not just looking for something that lets me create a group and then add people to it. I guess you could say I'm looking for an app that lets me create a group first -- like GroupMe, WhatsApp, Telegram, and many others as you've indicated -- and then add topics that only that group can see.
    – Brian Lacy
    May 12, 2015 at 16:42

We just released Princle, which is designed just for your use case! It fits all your requirements above except for the Android app part, which we are currently working on (right now Android users can still use the web version to participate in the chats). Your group messages will be private and the group is by invitation only. Please try it out and let us know if you have any question or suggestion!


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