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 group messaging, we might recommend our best messenger apps list. Otherwise, let’s check out the best chat room apps for Android.
The best chat room apps for Android
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Amino is a popular chat room app similar in scope to apps like Band or Discord. There are a variety of communities for a variety of topics, and you can create your own if you want to. Discord likes to cater mostly to gamers, but Amino likes to cater to as many people as possible, and that’s probably why it’s so popular. In any case, you can explore the app, join communities, chat with people, and customize your profile. However, people stay for the various extras like Instagram and Snapchat-style stories, the ability to add polls and quizzes, and even watch videos or read blogs. It’s a weirdly neat all-in-one style chat if you’re into that sort of thing.
Band is a popular group chat app with a focus on 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.
Price: Free / $4.99 per month
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 to use. The $4.99 subscription only adds cosmetic extras like GIF emotes and the ability to use any emote on any server.
HelloTalk or Tandem
Price: Free / Varies
HelloTalk and Tandem are excellent chat apps if you’re learning a new language. The premise is that you know a language, and you want to learn a language. The app tries to link you up with someone who knows the language you want to learn and wants to learn your language. The two of you then help each other figure everything out. It’s not a traditional chatroom by any stretch, but it works pretty well. Just don’t be that person who uses an app like this for something other than its intended purpose.
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.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
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 a 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.
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 you want. 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.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
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.
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Zello is a dual purpose app. It has a walkie talkie feature with a push-to-talk style that lets you communicate with basically anybody on the fly. However, this one also has a variety of chat room style features as well. You can create public chat rooms or private ones with up to 6,000 users at once and you can use the PTT function to actually talk to them ham radio style. We don’t recommend this for your standard, old school Internet chat room experience. However, it does have its own charms.