5 the Best Platforms for Communities in 2024

May 8, 2024
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The Leading 5 Community Platforms in 2024

Considering the rapidly evolving digital landscape and the increasing importance of online communities, creating a powerful community of like-minded individuals in your field is a critically important step. This initiative opens up numerous opportunities for collaboration, learning, and interaction with peers and experts in your industry. In this article we will look at the 5 most promising platforms for creating and growing online communities in 2024.

Discourse: empowering discussions with a powerful open-source  platform

Discourse stands out as a robust open-source platform designed to host vibrant online forums and communities. Its intuitive interface, extensive customization options, and active developer community make it an excellent choice for community builders. 

Moreover, Discourse is free, ensuring accessibility for communities with varying budget constraints. With features like real-time notifications, rich text formatting, and advanced moderation tools, Discourse empowers administrators to create engaging discussion spaces (a paid plan also exists and currently costs about $50 per month. but this platform provides wide access tools free).

 Additionally, its robust SEO capabilities enhance content discoverability, maximizing community reach and impact.

Additionally, it's important to note that Discourse provides flexible options for managing the size and composition of your community. Administrators can set limits on the maximum number of users (An invite can either be limited to an email address (which also gives the added option to include an optional message), or be used as a link that can be shared with up to 10 people), thereby striking a balance between intimacy and scalability. This allows for the creation of small, closed groups for private discussions or large, public forums for global conversations.

With this functionality, administrators can tailor communities to meet the specific needs and goals of their participants while maintaining control over the size and activity of the community. 

However, “a couple of flies in the soup” should also be highlighted:

  1. Not so popular with non-technical users: For those who lack technical experience, using Discourse might be challenging. For example, configuring and customizing it may require additional time and effort.
  2. Open source-code: While open-source nature can be an advantage for some, it can also mean more responsibility for security and platform support for users lacking technical expertise.

But, don’t worry, in general Discourse is almost ideal for building your professional communities.

Mighty Networks: the best community-building solution

Mighty Networks offers a comprehensive solution for creating and nurturing online communities around shared interests and passions. With its intuitive interface and diverse feature set including discussion forums, events, courses, and member profiles, Mighty Networks provides a versatile platform for fostering meaningful connections. 

Available in both free and paid plans, Mighty Networks caters to various needs and budgets. 

Whether building communities for professionals, hobbyists, or enthusiasts, Mighty Networks facilitates engagement and growth. Advanced analytics empower administrators with valuable insights into member behavior for informed decision-making and community optimization.

There is no limit to the number of members you want to invite to your community. If you prefer small companies, Mighty Networks offers micro communities with a total of 10 people.

Cons:

  1. Limited Analytics: Some users point out that Mighty Networks may have limited analytics capabilities compared to other platforms.
  2. Platform Dependence: Since you are using a third-party developer's platform, you do not have full control over your community, and you may be limited by their terms and restrictions.

Slack: consistently good communication system

While primarily known as a team messaging platform, Slack serves as a valuable tool for building and managing online communities. With its channels, threads, and integrations with third-party apps, Slack offers a flexible environment for communication and collaboration. 

While the platform is free with certain limitations, paid plans unlock additional features for scaling communities. Whether creating communities for industry professionals, special interest groups, or hobbyists, Slack provides infrastructure for real-time discussions and resource sharing. Its extensive integration library facilitates workflow automation, enhancing community productivity.

Like the previous platform, Slack has no limits on the number of community members. so it can be developed to very large numbers. some Slack groups currently have over 10,000 members.

Cons:

  1. Limited search capabilities: It can be difficult to find old messages or information in Slack due to limited search capabilities, especially with large volumes of data.
  2. Lack of file integration: File exchange in Slack may not be as convenient as in specialized document-sharing services. Some users may find the integration with other services insufficient.

Facebook Groups: still a talented retiree  

Facebook Groups remain a popular choice for creating and managing online communities due to their widespread adoption and user familiarity. With features like discussions, events, and multimedia sharing, Facebook Groups offer a convenient platform for connecting with like-minded individuals and engaging in diverse discussions. 

Free to create and join, Facebook Groups are accessible to a broad audience.

 While offering fewer customization options compared to other platforms, they provide a user-friendly interface and extensive reach for community building. Facebook's robust targeting capabilities enable administrators to reach specific audience segments, maximizing engagement and retention.

Facebook will also not limit you from adding new members to your group. be careful though. like many other social networks on Facebook you should send people invitations to your community in small portions (no more than 300 per day), otherwise “retiree” will start to perceive you as a bot.

Cons:

  1. The platform may have limited capabilities for group administrators to remove spam, unwanted messages, or manage content, which can lead to an increase in inappropriate content.
  2. Facebook algorithms may affect which messages are displayed in users' news feeds, potentially leading to some group posts being unnoticed or shown less frequently.

Bettermode (formerly Tribe): reflect brand identity

Bettermode offers a tailored solution for creating branded online communities for businesses, organizations, and brands. With customizable interface options, white-label branding, and integrated engagement tools, Bettermode empowers organizations to build communities reflecting their unique identity and values.

 Offering both free and paid plans, Bettermode accommodates various community-building needs. 

Whether connecting with customers, employees, or stakeholders, Bettermode provides tools for cultivating engaged and loyal communities. Advanced analytics offer insights into community performance, enabling data-driven decision-making and continuous optimization.

Feel free. You can build and expand your brand's community field, as this platform welcomes a large number of participants and has no limits in this regard.

Cons:

  • 1) Limited customization flexibility: Some users may find that Tribe does not provide enough flexibility in customizing the appearance and functionality of the community.
  • 2) Lack of certain integrations: If Tribe lacks integrations with certain popular services or programs, it may complicate the platform's use for users accustomed to specific tools or applications.

In conclusion, the landscape of online community platforms in 2024 offers diverse options to cater to different community-building requirements. Whether seeking an open-source solution like Discourse, a comprehensive platform like Mighty Networks, or a branded community experience with Bettermode, these platforms empower administrators to create vibrant and engaged online communities. With a focus on user engagement, customization, analytics, and scalability, these platforms facilitate meaningful connections and drive positive outcomes for communities.

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