Chat rooms don’t get the love they once did. AOL Instant Messenger, IRC, and other similar chat services don’t really exist much anymore despite the spike in data-driven messaging services. However, there are still some excellent chat room experiences out there if you know where to find them. There are a ton of messenger apps that allow for group chats. In fact, very nearly all of them do to our knowledge. However, those apps rarely have public chat rooms to join and engage with random people. If all you want is a group messaging, we might recommend our best messenger apps list linked up just below. Otherwise, let’s check out the best chat room apps for Android!
Band is a popular group chat app with a focus for general topics. You can create ones for work, sports, games, school, video games, family, friends, etc. It has features that work for almost all of those kinds of things. The actual chat experience is very similar to your standard chat app so there are no surprises there. The app doesn’t have public chats like many others. However, there are plenty of organizations and groups that use this so you may run into it on your own eventually. We would like some more power over things like notifications because this app sends a lot of them, but otherwise it’s a very decent experience.
Camfrog is a little more in line with what we expect with chat room apps. It features thousands of public chat rooms or you can create private chat rooms with friends, family, etc. This one is a little more unique than most because it also features video chatting. Thus, you can chat with just text or pop on with your actual face and talk as well. You can find all kinds of stuff here for better or for worse. Thus, we recommend using the app with just a little bit of caution to avoid any problems. The app does have a bunch of ads and additional in-app purchases for extra customization stuff, but the basic service is otherwise free.
Discord is one of the most popular chat room apps on the list. It’s predominately for gamers rather than normal folks. However, normal folks can use it as well. It’s just a chat room app with a lot of features so don’t feel like you only have to use it for gaming. This one mostly dabbles in private chat rooms, but there are some public chats out there if you search for them. Some other features include voice channels, direct messages between individual members, and you can join as many servers as you want to. It’s also entirely free with no ads or in-app purchases. We use it for our Android Authority Podcast recordings. That’s how much we like it.
Grouvi is a bit of a wild card on this list. It’s newer, not very popular, and we don’t know a lot about it. However, it boasts a classic public chat experience with a number of chats for a variety of topics. There seems to be a trend toward tech savvy topics like ethical hacking or Linux. This is definitely not some random dating site chat room style of app. It wasn’t overly active during our testing, but again it’s rather new and there aren’t a ton of people. It may be fun, it might not be, but only time will tell. In the meantime, the app is free with no ads or in-app purchases as of the time of this writing.
ICQ is one of the classic chat room apps. It underwent several changes over the years. It now functions like your standard chat apps do these days. You can direct message, video chat, and all of that stuff. However, it also still offers random public chat room similar to the old AIM or IRC services. There are chats for students, new users to ICQ, people in their 30’s, people in their 20’s, people from various parts of the world, some late night chat rooms, and a lot more. Those looking for the classic late 1990’s, early 2000’s style chat rooms should look no further because ICQ still has them after all these years.
MeetMe is a cross between a dating service and a chat room app. It boasts a load of active users, but they aren’t well distributed between genders. Thus, it’s not great as a standalone dating site. It’s a good way to meet people, though, and you do get into chats with random strangers so it technically fulfills the qualifications. It is one of the weaker options on this list, though. The app claims to be for all ages, and that’s ridiculous. It’s obviously for adults only. It’s acceptable occasionally, and the large number of people increases your chances of finding interesting people. However, we’d probably recommend one of the other nine chat room apps first.
Nimbuzz is a lot like ICQ. It’s a full service messenger app. You can talk to friends, create group chats, communicate with stickers, and even make voice calls. Users also get a collection of stickers, VOIP and SIP support, and limited, but functional file sharing. Of course, this service does have a range of public chat rooms for all sorts of topics and people. Chat rooms have a maximum limit of around 25 people, so they stay nice and intimate. You won’t have those rolling chats with hundreds of people that you can’t keep up with. It’s a good all-around experience, actually, unless you want a massive chat room. In that case, we recommend something like Discord.
Telegram is one of the most popular messaging apps on the list. It functions primarily as a private chat app with group chat functionality. However, you can create chat rooms in the app (referred to as channels). These channels are private. However, tons of organizations, people, groups, etc make their chats public for the sake of communication. You can also create channels and share the link with whoever to create your own. It would be awesome if Telegram had a public chat room community, but the private chat room community is so good that it’s almost just as good. You may just need to search around for readily available channels on Google Search.
Viber is like a much more popular version of Nimbuzz. It focuses mostly on text chats, voice calls, and video chats along with fun stuff like stickers, group chats, and other stuff. You can also make phone calls to landlines Skype style for a nominal fee. However, it does have a selection of public chat rooms for meeting new people, discussing topics, and stuff like that. You can find chats for basically anything or you can create your own and people will join eventually (probably). The in-app purchases are for things like the regular phone call fees and sticker packs. The majority of the service is completely free to use.
Whisper is one of the few classic chat room style apps with some popularity. It boasts a community of 30 million monthly active users and chat rooms for all sorts of fun topics. Additionally, you can find chat rooms popular on the service, stuff happening nearby (location permission required), and the newest chat rooms on the service. The biggest difference is that it uses a tweet-style posting system instead of a standard chat UI. That makes it different for sure. There are also a sizable number of negative people who say and do negative things, but how much that matters depends on your tolerance level for that kind of behavior. It’s fun, but it has its problems.
If we missed any great chat room apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!