Facebook groups can be a popular choice for community building, but they do come with their own set of limitations. While they offer a space to gather people with common interests, they might not always be the ideal place for nurturing a vibrant and engaged community. There are a few reasons why they might not be the best option.
For starters, Facebook's ever-changing algorithms can be a bit of a hurdle. You might create an awesome group, but the visibility of your posts isn’t guaranteed. Your members might not always see the content you're sharing due to the algorithm showing content based on various factors. It's like hosting a party and not everyone getting the invitation.
Plus, the platform is...well, a bit cluttered. Members have their family updates, memes, news, and then your community's content all jumbled together. It’s like trying to have a serious book club discussion at a carnival. Sometimes the essence of the community gets lost in the noise.
Ultimately, be it rule enforcement, unpredictable algorithms, or privacy concerns, maintaining a focused community on Facebook can be a struggle.
So, if you're looking for something more specialized and tailored, exploring Facebook groups alternatives and community-building platforms might be a good idea. In this blog, we're diving into why Facebook groups might not be the Holy Grail for community building and checking out some fantastic alternatives that give you more control and organization.
Why are creators and brands looking for Facebook Groups alternatives?
You Don’t Own Your Group
It’s a known fact that Facebook shows your content to less than 10% of your audience/group members. Ask yourself again; who has control over your community here?
You can set up a Facebook group in less than 5 minutes! It’s pretty quick; but in reality, you’re losing out on customization. An alternative to Facebook Groups would have options to create unlimited channels and grouping options that let you manage your community effortlessly.
In this case, Facebook again seems to be in the driver’s seat!
Not-Optimized for Mobile
Facebook Groups was built desktop-first and mobile-second. In 2021, 68.1% of website clicks came from mobile phones. In a world that is mobile-first, an alternative to Facebook Groups would be a community app that is built on mobile-first ground.
Lack of Control
Regardless of what product changes are happening, Facebook doesn’t consult its users before making big changes to the UI. They may end up changing some features or functionality that will affect your community's growth and retention.
In fact they’re already affecting growth by taking a big bite from your reach. An ideal alternative to Facebook Groups should enable you to own AND control your community.
So What’s The Alternative to Facebook Groups?
A platform that solves each of the problems mentioned above is an ideal solution to a Facebook Group Alternative.
100% Community Ownership
An app where your content, link, events, etc reaches 100% of your audience/group members.
Here are a few apps that offer this: Scenes, WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, and Slack.
A community app that lets you choose the kind of community you want to create. Let’s you add unlimited channel types with all kinds of functionalities like forums, live audio/video, role-creation, monetization options, and more.
Here are a few apps that offer this: Scenes, Discord, and Slack.
An app built for 2021 is always mobile-first. If your community is run on an app that is not mobile-friendly, you lose out on the growth and retention of your community.
Here are a few apps that offer this: WhatsApp, Telegram, Scenes.
You Have Complete Control
If the content is king, the community is kingdom. What’s the point of putting out content if you don’t have complete control and ownership over your audience/group? You need a Facebook Group alternative where your kingdom is truly yours.
Here are a few apps that offer this: WhatsApp, Telegram, Scenes, Discord, and Slack.
If you look more carefully, Scenes is the one app that solves all the problems that a Facebook Group Owner encounters. Let’s take a quick comparison between these platforms in a more detailed way.
Best Alternatives to Facebook Groups
1. Scenes: All-in-one Community App that replaces 10+Apps
Scenes is an all-in-one platform designed to help online communities thrive. It offers various features like forums, chat, events, and member management at a fraction of the cost compared to other similar tools in the industry.
What Makes Scenes the ideal Facebook Groups alternative?
- Customization: Personalize your community space with distinctive branding, tailored URLs, and features that cater to your community's particular requirements.
- Monetization: Generate revenue by offering courses, webinars, and digital products directly from the platform.
- Gamification: Elevate your community into an engaging and immersive environment. Recognize and reward member contributions with community coins for added engagement.
Here's a detailed version of what Scenes provides for effective community building:
- Centralized Community Hub: Manage all community activities, events, discussions, and members in one place.
- Discussion Forums: Easy-to-use forums to encourage engaging discussions and brainstorming.
- Event Management: Plan and organize events using tools like calendars for scheduling and promotion.
- Member Management: Keep a record of members, track engagement, and create custom profiles for better organization.
- Resource Library: Centralize important documents and resources for easy access and sharing.
- Real-Time Notifications: Stay updated on community activities, event RSVPs, and new discussions.
- Community Moderation: Ensure a safe and respectful environment through robust security features.
- White Label App on iOS and Android: Customize and brand your community app for a seamless user experience.
These features make Scenes an efficient Facebook groups alternative but also ideal for creating and maintaining lively online communities.
Need help in how to go about community building, management, or anything community-related? Speak to one of our Community Doctors and receive your diagnosis.
Slack is a popular communication platform primarily used in professional settings for team collaboration, communication, and file sharing. It stands as a viable Facebook groups alternative for certain types of communities.
- Messaging and Integrations: It's great for real-time messaging and integrating with various tools and services.
- Ease of Use: User-friendly interface with customizable channels.
- File Sharing: Allows easy file sharing and integration with numerous third-party apps.
- Lack of Personalized Branding: Unlike Scenes, Slack lacks personalized branding options.
- Monetization Features: It doesn't have built-in monetization features, which could be a limitation for communities aiming to generate revenue.
- Cost Structure: Slack charges per user, which can become costly for larger communities or groups.
Circle is a community platform that allows users to create discussion spaces for their communities, courses, or memberships.
- User-Friendly Interface: It offers a clean and user-friendly interface for community building.
- Dedicated Spaces: Provides separate areas (spaces) for different topics, ideal for organizing discussions.
- Monetization Options: Circle supports various monetization features for memberships, courses, and communities.
- Limited Android App: The Android app might not be as feature-rich as its iOS counterpart, potentially limiting the experience for Android users.
- White-Label App Absence: Lacks the option for a white-label app, which could be a drawback for those needing a fully branded experience.
- Expense: It might be expensive for smaller communities or individuals due to pricing tiers.
Thinkific is an online course platform that can also be used to build a community around a specific course or educational program.
- Course-Centric: Ideal for educators or trainers who want to build a community around their courses.
- Content Delivery: Allows for structured content delivery through courses.
- Ease of Use: Thinkific offers a user-friendly interface for instructors and learners.
- Lack of Apps: Thinkific does not have dedicated apps for mobile devices, potentially limiting the accessibility and engagement for users who prefer mobile use.
- Community Building: While it allows for community building around courses, it might lack some of the functionalities or interactive features found in dedicated community platforms.
- Limited in Purpose: The platform is primarily focused on education and may not suit general community-building needs.
5. Kajabi Community
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform primarily focused on creating, marketing, and selling online courses. It includes a community feature where users can engage and interact.
- Course Integration: Seamlessly integrates with courses and other marketing tools in Kajabi.
- User-Friendly: Offers a simple and intuitive interface for users and content creators.
- Focused Community: The community feature is designed to support course-related discussions and interactions.
- No Live Streaming: It lacks live streaming capabilities, which might limit real-time interaction possibilities.
- Native Video Absence: It doesn’t support native video hosting, meaning users might need to rely on external platforms for video content.
- Limited Discussion Options: The discussion options might not be as extensive or versatile compared to dedicated community platforms.
- High Cost: Kajabi can be expensive, particularly for individuals or smaller communities, making it less accessible for some users.
WhatsApp is a popular messaging app owned by Facebook that allows users to send text messages, and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share media.
- Ease of Use: It's widely used and has a simple, user-friendly interface.
- Wide User Base: It boasts a massive user base globally.
- Messaging Features: Offers various messaging functionalities, including text, voice, and video calls.
- Not a Community Platform: WhatsApp is not specifically designed as a community platform. It lacks dedicated features for community building and management.
- Lack of Branding: There are no options for branding or customization, limiting the establishment of a unique community identity.
- Owned by Meta: Some users may have concerns about data privacy and information sharing, as WhatsApp is owned by Meta.
Bettermode is a community platform focused on helping businesses build their own branded online communities.
- Community Building: Offers tools for creating and managing online communities.
- User Engagement: Provides features for engagement through discussions, content sharing, and user interactions.
- Integration Capabilities: Integrates with various tools to support community management.
- Lack of Branding: Tribe might lack extensive options for branding and customization, potentially limiting the creation of a unique community identity.
- Missing Core Features: It might not offer certain advanced features like live classes, virtual events, gamification, and native monetization options, which are important for some communities.
- Cost Consideration: The pricing might not be as competitive or attractive for certain communities, especially considering the absence of some key features.
Discord is a communication platform originally designed for gamers but has expanded to accommodate various communities, serving as an alternative to traditional social media platforms.
- Community Features: Offers text, voice, and video chat options in servers, allowing for diverse communication channels.
- Customization: Provides robust server customization, allowing moderators to tailor the community experience.
- Bot Integration: Supports various bots for automating tasks and enhancing user engagement.
- Moderation Tools: Offers comprehensive moderation tools to manage and maintain community standards.
- Learning Curve: For new users, especially those unfamiliar with similar platforms, Discord might have a learning curve due to its diverse features.
- Privacy Concerns: Some users might have concerns about data privacy and moderation.
- May Not Suit All Communities: While diverse, the platform's gaming roots might not be suitable for all types of communities.
Passion.io is an online platform that allows individuals to create and monetize their own mobile apps for sharing knowledge, offering courses, or building a community.
- Mobile App Creation: Enables users to create mobile apps for their content or community, increasing accessibility for users.
- Monetization Features: Offers opportunities to monetize through memberships or paid content.
- Course Building: Facilitates the creation and sale of courses within the app.
- App-Centric: While advantageous for mobile access, it might be limiting for users who prefer web-based community access.
- Monetization Strategy: The emphasis on monetization could potentially overshadow the community-building aspect for some users.
- Limited Customization: The platform might have limitations in terms of deep customization, especially for users seeking highly personalized community experiences.
Reddit is a vast social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. It's divided into communities called "subreddits," each focusing on specific topics.
- Diverse Communities: It hosts a wide range of communities covering virtually any topic imaginable.
- Voting System: Utilizes an upvoting and downvoting system for content, allowing popular content to rise to the top.
- Community Engagement: Users can engage in discussions, share content, and ask questions within dedicated subreddits.
- Anonymity: Users can remain largely anonymous if they choose, promoting open discussions.
- Moderation Challenges: Maintaining the quality and tone of discussions can be challenging due to the sheer size and diversity of communities.
- Anonymity Challenges: Anonymity sometimes leads to low-quality or abusive contributions, affecting community discussions.
- Limited Customization: Communities (subreddits) have limited options for customization, which can impact branding and community identity.
Discourse is an open-source Internet forum and mailing list management software. It focuses on providing a modern platform for civilized discussions.
- Modern Interface: Provides a clean, modern, and user-friendly interface for discussions.
- Community Engagement: Offers various engagement features like likes, threaded replies, and quoting.
- Trust Levels: It includes a trust level system to help moderate and promote active and positive community members.
- Open-Source: Being open-source allows for customization and active community development.
- Technical Knowledge Requirement: Setting up and managing Discourse might require some technical expertise, especially for self-hosted instances.
- Moderation Burden: Moderating discussions effectively can be a time-consuming task for community managers.
- Customization Complexity: While it's open-source, extensive customization might need technical skills or developer assistance.
BuddyBoss is a platform that transforms WordPress into a social networking website. It offers tools to create online communities, membership sites, and online courses.
- WordPress Integration: Built on top of WordPress, allowing for easy integration with WordPress plugins and themes.
- Community Features: Offers features for creating online communities, social networking, and memberships.
- Course Creation: Provides functionalities for building and selling online courses.
- Customization: Allows customization to create a unique community experience.
- WordPress Dependency: Being tied to WordPress might limit flexibility for those not using the WordPress platform.
- Learning Curve: Initial setup and understanding may require some time and effort, especially for users new to WordPress.
- Cost Consideration: While it offers a range of features, the cost could be a limiting factor for smaller communities or individual users.
Each platform serves different community needs and has its unique features and limitations. The choice among them depends on the specific requirements and objectives of the community or group seeking an alternative to Facebook groups.
Choosing the Right Alternative for Your Community
Factors to consider when selecting a community platform:
- Community Objectives: Assess the primary purpose of your community. Is it focused on professional networking, hobby discussions, support groups, or knowledge sharing? Ensure the Facebook groups alternative you choose aligns with these objectives.
- User Experience and Accessibility: Consider the ease of use for both administrators and members. Is the platform user-friendly? Does it offer mobile accessibility or dedicated apps?
- Scalability and Growth: Evaluate whether the platform can accommodate the current community size and potential growth. Are there limitations on membership, content creation, or participation?
- Moderation and Security: Look into the moderation tools offered. Does the platform provide adequate control over user behavior and content? What security features are in place to safeguard community privacy?
- Customization and Branding: Consider the level of customization available. Can you brand the community to reflect its identity? Are there options to tailor the layout, design, and features?
Aligning platform features with specific community needs:To successfully align platform features with your community's needs:
- Understand Your Community's Dynamics: Recognize how your community interacts. Do they prefer real-time chat, structured forums, or a mix of both? Based on the analysisi, choose the ideal Facebook groups alternative.
- Identify Critical Features: Prioritize features crucial to your community. For instance, if community engagement is vital, ensure the platform supports interactive tools like gamification or live events.
- Community Demographics: Consider the demographics of your community members. A platform catering to a younger audience might differ in preferences from a platform suited for professionals or older users.
Tips for a smooth transition or setup process:
- Communication and Preparation: Communicate the transition plan in advance to community members. Provide guidance on how to move to the new platform and ensure support for any issues.
- Content Migration: If transitioning from Facebook Groups, ensure a smooth content transfer. Prepare a plan to migrate essential discussions, files, and announcements to maintain continuity.
- Onboarding and Training: Offer tutorials or guides for new members joining the platform. Educate existing members on the platform's functionalities to ease the transition process.
By considering these factors, aligning features with the community's needs, and following these transition or setup tips, community builders can effectively choose the right Facebook groups alternative platform for their specific community and ensure a smooth transition process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Facebook groups still popular in 2023?
Facebook groups continue to maintain their popularity in 2023. However, they may not be the perfect choice for those seeking to build and nurture dedicated communities. While Facebook groups offer a space for interaction, they do come with limitations in terms of customization, scalability, and specialized community management tools.
For more dedicated community building, an all-in-one community platform like Scenes proves to be a better alternative. These platforms offer powerful features and channels like forums, chat, events, member management, and more. Unlike Facebook groups, these platforms are specifically designed to cater to community needs, offering greater customization, enhanced moderation tools, and better scalability for community growth.
What is better than a Facebook group?
Several platforms offer alternatives that might suit specific needs better than Facebook groups. For instance, platforms like Discord, Slack, or specialized community platforms like Scenes offer unique features and functionalities tailored to different types of communities. These alternatives might provide more customization, robust organization, or better moderation tools, catering to varying community needs.
Can Facebook groups get banned?
Yes, Facebook groups can get banned if they violate the platform's community standards, including posting inappropriate content, engaging in spam, or breaching policies.
What are the limitations of Facebook groups?
Some limitations of Facebook groups include restrictions on membership size, limited customization options, potential privacy concerns, and dependence on the overarching platform's policies and changes. Additionally, the moderation tools may not always be comprehensive for managing larger or more complex communities.