Popular group messaging app provider GroupMe has released a major update to their mobile apps and web site. The new features include ask questions, send direct messages, chat from the GroupMe web site, hide your phone number, and worldwide availability.
If you are not familiar with GroupMe, it basically provides distribution lists for messages. You create a group, in which you add your friends and their mobile phone numbers, and then when you send a message to the group, everyone in the group receives the message and can respond to the message. If you are running the GroupMe app on your phone, you receive the message directly within the app, otherwise you can receive and send messages via SMS.
The new ask questions feature enables you to initiate a conversation by writing a question and specifying who you want to receive the question. You can select groups or individuals in GroupMe or have your question sent to your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Direct Messaging allows you to send a message to one individual in a group as opposed to everyone in a group. You can now configure the GroupMe app to only display your phone number to people in groups who are also in your contacts, preventing your number from being seen by people who you don’t know.
The GroupMe app use is now available worldwide, previously it was only available in the United States. However, you can only send text messages to people in the United States.
New versions of the Android and iPhone GroupMe apps are available now, while updates to the Blackberry and Windows Phone versions are coming. Along with the changes being rolled out in the GroupMe mobile apps, the GroupMe web site has been updated so that it has the same features as the mobile apps. The GroupMe web site also works in mobile browsers, providing the GroupMe functionality for phones for which a GroupMe app is not available.