Meetup (website)

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Meetup Logo.png
Type of site
Social networking
Available in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, German
Owner Meetup Inc.
Alexa rank 367 (May 2015)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Required to join a group
Launched June 12, 2002; 14 years ago (2002-06-12)[2]

Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies.

The company is based in New York City and was co-founded in 2002 by Scott Heiferman and Matt Meeker. Meetup was designed as a way for organizers to manage the many functions associated with in-person meetings and for individuals to find groups that fit their interests.

Users enter their city or their postal code and tag the topic they want to meet about. The website/app helps them locate a group to arrange a place and time to meet. Topic listings are also available for users who only enter a location.

The service is free of charge to individuals who log in as members. They have the ability to join different groups as defined by the rules of the individual groups themselves.

Meetup receives revenue by charging fees to organizers of groups. Currently US$9.99/month for their basic plan, which includes a maximum of 4 organizers and maximum of 50 members. The unlimited pricing starts at US$14.99/month or six months for $90, which gives the organizer up to three groups.[3][4]

Organizers can customize the Meetup site by selecting from a variety of templates for the overall appearance of their site. They can also create customized pages within the group's Meetup site. Site group functions include:[5]

  • Schedule meetings and automate notices to members for the same
  • The ability to assign different leadership responsibilities and access to the group data
  • The ability to accept RSVPs for an event
  • The ability to monetize groups, accept and track membership and/or meeting payments through WePay
  • Create a file repository for group access
  • Post photo libraries of events
  • Manage communications between group members
  • Post group polls

The website and associated app also allow users to contact meetup group members through a messaging platform and comments left on individual event listings. After each event and email is shared that allows users to click "Good to see you" and establish further connection with group members.


Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the site's co-founder Scott Heiferman publicly stated in 2011 that the manner in which people in New York City came together in the aftermath of that traumatic event inspired him to use the Internet to make it easier for people to connect with strangers in their community.[6]

Launching on June 12, 2002, it quickly became an organizing tool for a variety of common interests including fan groups, outdoor enthusiasts, community activists, support groups, and more.

The Howard Dean campaign incorporated internet-based grassroots organization after learning Meetup members were outpacing traditional organization methods.[7] Having changed the political landscape, it is still being used for political campaigns today.

On February 27 and March 1, 2014, a denial-of-service attack forced Meetup's website offline.[8][9]

On July 10, 2015, Meetup announced a new pricing plan update.[3][4] Smaller Meetups pay a little less and larger Meetups pay a little more.

As of August 2015 the company claimed to have 22.77 million members in 180 countries and 210,240 groups,[10] although these figures may include inactive members and groups.

See also[edit]