Start a group chat with a Discourse group

You can now start a group chat with a Discourse group, making it easier to get in touch with a group of people without manually adding each member’s name!

create DM with group

This functionality respects your community’s chat max direct message users setting, meaning that users can’t start a group chat with a group that contains more members than allowed by this setting (which defaults to 20 members).

While members can be added to the group chat as usual, the chat will not automatically grow or shrink as new members are added to or removed from the group. We’re keeping that in mind for future development, though, so please let us know if that’s something that is important to your community.


This is wonderful news, Lindsey! You and your team are really bringing more and more tangible improvements to chat/DMs and it is making chat more and more effective. Oh, and pleasant to use!

Yeah, this is pretty important in my mind.

Group chat means that we can potentially stop making gratuitous categories just to support a chat channel, but if the group is dynamic then this will need to be re-establised frequently to avoid missing souls - which sucks as we will definitely neglect to do that!!!


New ones must add as earlier manually and if someone wants to leave he/she/it can’t and membership is life sentence :smirk:

That will, not could, be an issue.

Am I right, but we can’t mention private channels? Because surely group chat sounds more nicer but it is still just another private chat where groups are almost as equally as persons.

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We can’t indeed


There is three huge questionmarks that comes from… someone could say features of private chats but I’m still calling them (sorry) design flaws.

If anyone, including admin, leaves the group chat there is no another way come back than someone is inviting.

There is no other way delete such chat than everyone has to leave it by own will.

Because it is another private chat where groups are just users (as should, that is good) but used when such channel is opened then eveyone can invite who ever they want (disclaimer: I did not test this, but I’m quite sure of that)

So… this feature is really promising but from my point of view this so far away from ”production ready” that I would use it. Such it is now it has few pros for small groups of users but because groups are behind admins so… for users everything is as earlier. And kind of at staff level (in wider meaning than just Discourse lingo) there is too many cons.

And yes. I may, and propably do, see this too limited way.

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Is this any different in other chat apps you use? If I leave a whatsapp, signal, or telegram group, I also need to be reinvited in. That’s what makes it private. I would call that a design decision, not a design flaw.

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Technically it is same, of course and comes from base design, I recon, and that is quite bad excuse. Context and purpose is totally different than 1:1 or if bunch of pals want talk nonsense. Because creation of groups is very limited right.

Lets take an example. An user starts chat (or vice versa, unrelevant) with group of customer_care where is amount of X < 20 (or what ever setting is) staff members. If connection with a group matters only when channel will be created we/they are really fast on situation where

  • an admin has zero power over chat channel
  • every group members are using paid working time to leave channels

I as an admin had plan to kill such group group chat because it was done its job. I misclicked very first red button and elvis has left the building but chat channel was there. So the first solution was that I, the super admin, asked one of members adding me back that channel :sweat_smile:

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Perhaps a better solution would be to insert another security layer with a “are you sure?” popup, at least for admins, to prevent this scenario. Or maybe even further, as the group admin, you simply can’t leave until you made someone else admin. To be considered.