Group chats are the perfect way to have better real-time discussions and make stronger connections with your mutuals, your friends, and the rest of your favorite communities on Tumblr. You need to use Tumblr version 14.5.1 or later to access group chats, which are available only on mobile devices.
How group chats work
Accessing group chats
Either tap the new group chat icon in the upper right-hand corner of your device, or swipe left from your dashboard to view all of the group chats you’ve joined or created. From there, you can tap through to additional pages to see your pending invites to people you’ve invited to your owned group chats and your pending join requests to group chats you want to participate in.
If you’ve been invited to a group chat, you’ll see a blue indicator dot on the group chat icon. You will also see a message at the top of your inbox. Just tap through to join. Only the owner of a group chat can send invites.
Finding and joining a group chat
Group chats are shown in relevant search results based on their title, tags, and description. If you see one that looks interesting, just tap on it to preview the group chat.
If you still like what you see and want to get in on the fun, tap “Request to join” to request to join. It’s a very aptly named button. The owner will be notified of your request, and only they will be able to approve or deny it.
To receive notifications of new messages in a specific group chat, just tap the title of the chat at the top of the screen, and tap the toggle on to subscribe. Note that this setting is off by default.
You can also toggle all group chat-related notifications on or off in the app’s Notifications settings.
- Group chats are for real-time conversation, so messages are ephemeral. They’ll disappear from view after 24 hours, 72 hours, or 1 week, depending on the group chat's settings. Once a message is sent to the group chat, it can’t be edited. Keep in mind that while only people chosen by the group chat creator can participate in a group chat, all group chats, their messages, and its list of members are publicly viewable by anyone on Tumblr.
- Each group chat can have up to 200 members, including the owner. If you tap on someone’s avatar in the chat, you’ll bring up a menu where you can view that person's Tumblr.
- To share a link to a group chat, first tap the chat's name, and then tap the meatballs menu. From there, just select "Share" to bring up your device's share options. You can send the link through a text or an email, via another app, or just copy the link to paste elsewhere.
- A group chat on Tumblr without GIFs would make no sense at all. Tumblr’s GIF search is neatly integrated into group chats, allowing you to search and send GIFs to your heart’s content. This is currently the only type of media you can send in a group chat.
- If you enter a group chat that has a member whose blog you blocked on Tumblr before, you’ll see a message letting you know. Similarly, you’ll get a message if you’re already in a group chat and a blog you’ve blocked enters the group chat. If you decide to participate, the person whose blog you blocked will be able to see the messages you send in the group chat, and you will be able to see theirs.
Reporting spam and abuse
Any violation of our hate speech policy or other Community Guidelines will not be tolerated on Tumblr. If you see something against our Community Guidelines in a group chat you did not create, you have the ability to report it to our Trust & Safety team. They will review every reported header image, message, or user and remove them from the platform if found in violation of our Community Guidelines. You can also report a group chat as a whole by tapping the group chat’s name and then selecting “Report” from the meatballs menu.
Leaving a group chat
To leave a group chat, tap into it and then tap the name of the group chat at the top of your screen, and then tap the meatballs menu on the right. From there, choose “Leave group.” Keep in mind that you’ll have to request and be approved in order to join again.
Creating your own group chat
Ready to start your own group chat? Awesome. Just tap the “+” button at the top right on your group chat page, name it whatever you wish, and you’re in business.
Customizing your group chat
Tap the title of your chat at the top of the screen to open the customization menu. Choose a photo from your camera roll as the background for your group chat’s card. This is what you see in search results and in the group chat inbox. So make it pretty. Or slimy. Or weird, funny, or cute. Make it whatever you want, basically. You can also pick a theme color, write a short description of your chat, and tag it with relevant tags so others can find it easily.
We use your group chat’s title, description, and tags to list it in search—so the more descriptive you are, the easier it’ll be for like-minded folks to find and join the group. Remember that your group chat, its messages, and its list of members are publicly visible to everyone on Tumblr.
The customization menu is also where you change how long messages are kept in your group chat before they expire. The default setting for new chats is 72 hours, but you can also choose 24 hours or 1 week.
Invite members to your group chat by tapping the members icon at top right (the little silhouettes), and then selecting “Invite new members.” Then, search for the username of the people you want to invite. Send your invites by tapping the “Invite” button at the bottom of your screen to notify them of their newest gift: an invite to your beautiful group chat.
Moderating group chats
Group chat creators are the sole owners of their group chat, and it is their responsibility to keep it a friendly and welcoming space. Owners can remove any individual or a specific message by tapping the avatar of the member in question and removing them from the group chat. You can also block or report members from this view. Removing someone is a permanent action, and the removed participants will not be able to join again by an outgoing invite or incoming request.
Deleting a group chat
To delete a group chat you’ve created, tap into your group chat, tap its name at the top of the screen, and find the meatballs menu on the right. Finally, gaze upon “Delete group.” This process can’t be undone! Give thanks to all your group chat has given you, and then banish it from your account forever with that small but powerful tap.
Before you go, we suggest you make sure your members are aware that the group chat is being deleted. Just send a little FYI about your intentions in a message, and give them a little time to organize elsewhere if that’s what they want to do.
Privacy and group chats
Group chats are meant for public consumption. We want to foster and build conversation in our Tumblr communities. That’s why group chats can be previewed by any member of the Tumblr community. This keeps them truly focused on the community experience.
Storybot is a friendly little bot that you can use in any Tumblr group chat. Storybot assists in the creation of Tumblr stories between you and your friends. These function as chain stories: you can't add a sentence twice in a row, so you have to get your friends in the group chat to contribute as well.
You can summon Storybot in any group chat by mentioning them in a message, i.e. “@storybot”. At any time you can say “@storybot help” to see the available command functions.
Storybot's primary function is to record your story. You and the other group chat members are the ones creating it:
- You: @storybot start
- Storybot: Story started! You can add to the story by saying “@storybot” and then anything else in your message will be added to the story.
- You: @storybot Once upon a time
- Friend One: @storybot there was a very nice bot
- Friend Two: @storybot named Storybot!
Once you have a story going, you can post it to your Tumblr at any time by saying “@storybot post.” Storybot then packages the story together, credits your collaborators in a mention, and posts it on your behalf to your blog. You can even include a title after the word “post”, like “@storybot post My Awesome Story”.
Your story can be up to 250 sentences. Keep in mind that once you start your story, you have 12 hours to complete it. Make sure to add "@storybot" in front of each sentence to make sure they get added to your story.
When you are done posting your story, you can say “@storybot stop” to end the current story, or “@storybot restart” to start a brand new one.