Improvements to group chats — add users to existing chats, easily create new groups, name your group chats

In addition to channels and direct messages, Discourse chat supports group messages (i.e. personal chats with 3 or more members), which makes it easier for small groups to stay connected with each other. We recently introduced a number of improvements to group chats to let you add new members to an existing group chat, easily create new chats, and support naming your group chats.

Note: We’re using the word “group” here in a general sense to describe multiple people — we are not referring to Groups as they operate in Discourse.

:people_holding_hands: You can now add members to existing group chats

Previously, it wasn’t possible to add a new member to an existing group chat — you had to create a new group chat, which meant the new member didn’t have access to previous message history. Now, you can add new members to existing group chats through the channel settings.

We’ve included a visual cue that lets you know how many more members they are allowed to add to the group chat, based on the community’s chat settings (chat max direct message users).


New members will have access to all previous chat messages in the group chat, based on your community’s retention settings (chat dm retention days). You’ll see a message in the group chat when new members are added.


Note: This functionality supports expanding existing group chats only. At this time, you can’t convert a direct message (1:1) into a group chat (multiple users) by adding new members.

:checkered_flag: It’s easier to create a new group chat

Creating new group messages is fast and easy with the addition of the New group chat button in the chat message creator (accessible through the + button or via CMD + K keyboard shortcut).

From there, it’s easy to add users to your group chat and even set a group name.

You can still use the existing Shift + Click / Shift + Enter shortcuts to select multiple users from the chat message creator.

:tada: Have fun and get organized with group chat names

What’s in a name? Turns out, a lot of fun :smile: You can now name your group chats when creating a new group…

…or to existing group chats through the channel settings.

In addition to being a great way to have fun with your fellow community members, group chat names can help you stay organized since you may have multiple group chats with some (or all) of the same members. Names can also give new members helpful context about the group chat’s purpose.

If you decide not to set a name, your group chat will be labeled with a list of the members in the chat.


:speaking_head: Tell us what you think!

We’re excited about these improvements and would love to hear what you think. Drop your comments or questions here — we’re eager to learn how we can continue to make group chats better for your community.


Thanks for your hard work!


Thank you for listening, caring and your great work!


This is really brilliant, and lifts the game for Chat in Discourse significantly. Well done Lindsey and the dev team who have put so much into it!

It now allows users to manage their own heavily notified chat ‘groups’ without admin involvement; this is a real game-changer in my books and opens up all sorts of use-cases.

One little thing that I remain tripped up on is the user setting only_send_chat_push_notifications. I’d better put in a feature request for this:


I wonder why chat max direct message users is limited to 100?

Also, is there any chance to support threading in group chat?

Perhaps because it would be silly to have over 100 people in a group DM? You should probably have a chat channel for it by that point, imo.

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We set a limit here to mitigate potential abuse — users who might start large group chats to spam community members in a way that moderators would have more difficulty identifying / controlling.

Is this limit causing problems in your community?

We don’t have a specific plan on our roadmap around adding threading in group chats, but I can see how it would be helpful, especially in group chats with lots of members. I’m happy to add a feature request for that functionality so we can keep it in mind for future development.


No, not at all. Also I think this group chat is complementary to open discussion. If there are too many people involved, it’s better to create a topic/category for that.