Best Alternatives to Facebook Groups

Community building seems to be not an easy task. For a long time, Facebook has been a good source that helped people to gather into different groups and communities united by common interests, social roles, and common ideas. Though today Facebook is not the only choice for community hosting. Many are now exploring platforms beyond Facebook Groups to foster deeper connections and offer unique features. Our article includes all the information you need to know if you are about to build a community or transfer an existing one from Facebook to a new web space.

Facebook community

Facebook Groups Phenomena

Facebook Groups Phenomena

Hardly can anyone find a person who would deny the fact that Facebook has become an essential part of our daily life. Billions of people use it all over the world to chat privately with friends or communicate or in groups, share life experiences and socialize. All these important processes happen on the basis of the same platform. So there is no surprise that these people who use Facebook are automatically considered to be Facebook Groups customers. 

To be able to make a thoughtful decision about alternatives for Facebook Groups, we should clear up the reasons why people choose to switch from Facebook groups to something else. 

But firstly, let’s go through Facebook Groups functionality and available customization settings. Once Mark Zuckerberg compared Facebook with a town, where a community can be considered as a square. People come to this public place, everyone can step in and find whatever they are looking for. Even without a map, you won’t get lost in a community. All Facebook groups are like twins that try by all means to differ. Some of them choose to focus on various informational resources. Others concern more about the form and design of their digital appearance, or even don’t care about any features and use an extensive amount of ads. 

At the very core, Facebook offers creators a media space where they can share their content for free, build deeper connections with the audience, and control their social credit within the online community. The best thing about Facebook Groups is that it is quite self-sufficient. Though an influencer or a brand created it, after some time group members create discussions, bring new posts that are organically related to the group’s theme, leave comments, and might even create some real-life events. 

Why look for alternatives?

Even though Facebook Groups seem to be such a useful tool, in practice there are reasons why people check Facebook competitors’ offers for building a membership community. Here are some of them.

Alternatives to Facebook groups

Reach is not that fast-growing as expected

With the growth of the community platform comes both positive and negative aspects. One of the negative sides is that it becomes more and more difficult to reach the target audience and distribute your content and coaching services to the users on the Facebook platform. The news feed is updated non-stop, the skill of clickbait has long been learned, so it has lost its interactive power. Paid advertisement is always higher than the content of communities and groups that don’t pay for it. 

Developing your membership community based on the Facebook platform you become a full-fledged hostage of Facebook algorithms. You don’t determine the content visible to your audience, Facebook does. 

No way to monetize your content

Having worked with various community-building services and learning website features, we agree that one of the benefits of Facebook Groups is a simple and clear constructor, but they do not offer any monetization packages, but still charge communities for being advertised throughout the platform. You do not get paid for your work and valuable information designed especially for members of your community. 

Limited variety of content 

Those of you who don’t need to place an educational course in the community, or build a complicated online store inside it can skip this con. But if you plan to give your community members not only audio, video, or text files, read the section carefully. 

Being a talented person with unique skills that you are willing and able to share with others, Facebook is not the best choice. Unfortunately, Facebook will not allow you to provide an original course within the community. It simply does not have the needed features and enough flexibility. 

Moreover, as we wrote in the paragraph above you couldn’t monetize this course anyway, you lose not only opportunities but also income. Creating a membership community on one platform, but offering a course on another might be really confusing, you scatter the audience’s attention. 

Everything centered around Facebook

Facebook is well-known as one of the giants of the social network market, Facebook strives for independence. So a lot of information presented on Facebook will be invisible to most search engines, which would be bad for the reach of your community. 

This con determines your popularity. Imagine the situation when your potential member Googles information about your business, at first he or she would see your site, then some more related sites, and only then posts from your Facebook community, do you want your fans to make such a long way to your community? 

Here we have some questions for you. Can you live with these Facebook cons? Do you need a well-built membership community as a self-sufficient platform with engaging content presented or just a free group with limited options for posting? Are you full of thriving ideas that you want to fulfill, or do you have just a blurred picture in your head? 

Anyway, no matter what your answers are, we just wanted to make you think about your business goals, to make it easier to choose a proper software solution, cause there is a great variety of Facebook alternatives. In the list below we reviewed several alternatives that would make a match with you regardless of the requirements. 

7 most variable alternative platforms

Below we described the most popular and unexpected alternatives for Facebook groups. We hope it will help you to define the platform that would attract you more than Facebook and satisfy pricing, design, and features requirements for building a comfortable environment for users with the community membership and course participants.

Patreon

Patreon

Patreon is a popular software solution for creative people whose primary goal is to monetize their knowledge and products and sell it online. Both people who already have an online community and those who are about to build their first subscription program and look for members to follow them can use it. 

The key feature that sets Facebook Groups aside is easy monetization and simple analytics. With Patreon, you build your business around monthly subscriptions for your community membership and create different plans and alternatives for different subscribers. There are various plans with various levels of access to information, both pro users and fresh members would find something they like.

For creators, Patreon provides three different plans. Lite, Pro, and Premium.

  • Lite – a basic set of tools, with a workshop option, you pay 5% commission. 
  • Pro – a perfect alternative for business with analytic tools, unlimited app integration, pay 8% commission.
  • Premium – improved Pro plan, team account, personal manager, and 12% commission.

The problem that creators faced with Patreon is the support assistance. Though Patreon offers support on all types of plans, in fact, many members complain that it takes a number of days to get any help from the support team. Also, giving a great variety of monetization options, Patreon lacks community promotion tools. 

Slack teams

Slack teams

Slack is like Facebook but mostly for corporate and business clients. Primarily Slack is used by various organizations to build strong corporate communities. Slack gained its popularity due to its ease of use and convenient functionality features for communication that is organized on the principle of creating different groups or so-called channels within a community. 

Slack provides a desktop version and mobile app. The app is easy to download, navigate, and compatible with both iOS and Android devices. The basic functionality of the app can be enhanced by purchasing advanced options. You can use third-party tools to add new features. 

Slack provides 4 plans:

  • Free – perfect for small teams, 10000 messages, one-to-one voice, and video calls.
  • Standard – medium-sized companies, control over saved messages, voice, and video calls with up to 15 team members, pay $6.67/month. 
  • Plus – for larger businesses, unlimited messaging, additional administration features, 24/7 support, pay $12.50/month.
  • Enterprise Grid – big companies with extra needs, support up to 500,000 members, price upon request. 

For Slack disadvantages, we can mention an inability to customize the image of the app of the community, no way for direct monetization, better to be used for groups of people who already know each other. 

Kajabi

Kajabi

The Kajabi network is a polar alternative for Facebook groups. Unlike Facebook Groups, Kajabi provides members full integration into the existing site of the business. So the user implements features of a forum, community, online courses, etc. 

With Kajabi you can integrate SEO tools to control the website and new information products, for example, educational courses and guides created especially for your audience. 

Kajabi has 3 plans available.

  • Basic – 3 products, 1000 members, 1 website, 1 administrator, pay $119/month
  • Growth – 15 products, 10,000 members, 1 website, 10 administrators, pay $159/month
  • Pro – 100 products, 20,000 members, 3 websites, 25 administrators, pay $319/month

The only drawback for Kajabi we’ve found in the process of getting used to it. Lots of users and members complain that it took way too much time to get on well with the software. There are even those who refused to keep working with Kajabi because it was too hard to figure out with it. 

Scrile Connect

Scrile Connect

You have a clear picture in your head and know what your community should be, what features it needs to cover your business plan. Well then go big and create your online community or a website for your business with Scrile Connect. Being a host you can select the image, make a certain community organization, and choose management tools that you need. 

One of the reasons why people switch from Facebook Groups for something else is that they can’t be the head of their community. Hosts play under Facebook rules and their imagination and creativity are limited by network guidelines. With Scrile Connect you are the master, no one can tell you what you can or cannot post, what should be the price for access to extra posts, or tell you to change any online community features. 

Scrile Connect offers 3 plans for different business models: 

  • Startup – good for those who are only at the very beginning, 10 builder pages, 5 GB storage, $10/month, no commission 
  • Professional – a choice for pro-business, unlimited builder pages, 1000 GB storage, $500/month ($250 for a first month), no commission 
  • Enterprise – for those who are ready to step in a big game, source code access, premium support, flexible price (for more information ask our team)

A route to success might be difficult, everyone might get lost and make wrong choices. For such cases, Scrile Connect has a team that can quickly answer your questions 24/7. You can value and take care of members’ comfort, while we take care of your product. 

Reddit

Reddit

The alternative that could compete for popularity with Facebook is a website that you know as Reddit. It is a multifunctional social network where people communicate, exchange information, and gather in groups or social communities. The main characteristic of the site is open-source and free access.

What creators love about this site is that all the data published on the network are indexed by Google. The level of access to published materials can also be controlled by the creator and there are 3 levels public, limited and private. 

Being so popular Reddit is full of distractions, such as paid advertisement, that distracts members’ attention from your online community. By the way, there is no way you could customize your community to your brand’s style, the maximum you can do is set your label as avatar picture. Which also cuts the chances of the community being recognized straightforwardly. 

MeWe

MeWe

MeWe is probably the most unobvious contender to replace the Facebook Groups. This network has an intuitive interface that both members and community hosts easily get used to. 

MeWe entered the software market not that long ago, so it is great of them that they offer free usage. Everyone can sign up for a platform, and choose for themselves if they want to be creators or members who get a subscription to have access to online discussions and courses. 

Though we have admitted an aspect that made us doubt the platform. We went through terms that you have to agree to get free access to MeW. There is a shady statement about unacceptable content. This detail forbids you from posting any immoral and obscene videos, photos, or any other files, but the criteria, according to which the content is considered unworthy of publication, are not specified. Thus, MeWe reserves the right to delete any publication you create within the website.

Twitter

Twitter

Many little people have ever considered Twitter as a platform where they could create an online community. But it might become a perfect alternative for an exact group of brands or creators.

In case you have an idea of creating an online community of meme fans, or you want to gather a group of expats who are ready to share their unique experience and people who look for this first-hand information. Well, think of Twitter, it is a perfect network for such communities.

You can share quick jokes in your tweets, or write well-structured unlimited threads. You can share short videos and any photos you want (even of adult content). There are two options for your online community on this platform. It can be public, so any person can read, reply and share your content. Another alternative is a private page, so you would personally approve all the members who want to get access to the group. 

Twitter is known all over the world and has an audience no less than Facebook. So it is completely free and available for everyone. Though you never could monetize the created content directly from Twitter because it doesn’t have such an option. 

Final word

Our golden 7 has been set above, but for your convenience, we’ve gathered the information in one table to make all the pros and cons clear for you. 

Alternatives to Facebook Groups table

We hope our table made the choice of the platform for building your community or business website easier. We understand how hard it might be to make a final decision. For those of you who are interested in Scrile Connect here, you can contact our team for more information and start the story of your social community right now. 

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By Polina Yan

Product Marketing Manager and Content Writer at Scrile.

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