If you want to build a community online, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve come across Discord. It markets itself as a free community platform, and it’s popular: 150 million users.
But while Discord remains a fantastic platform for all types of casual conversation (especially for gaming), it has some real limitations. The biggest one? No built-in monetization features.
So if you want Discord alternatives that will give you more community features, let you build deeper connections, and–yes–even monetize a community, this list will cover something for everyone.
Whether you’re creating a community of gamers, wellness enthusiasts, financially literate young professionals, or even a course for the B2B market, we’ll give you some great alternatives to Discord to consider.
If you want more support in building your online community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!
Why look for a Discord alternative?
Yes, you can bring a group of strangers together on Discord by creating fun hangouts, but there is so much you can’t do on this platform. Discord was built as a live chat room first, and while it has added numerous other features over the years, that remains its focus. Your community, on the other hand, needs so much more than chatting.
- Can’t make money: Discord wants your users to pay them for Nitro features, not pay you–otherwise you make nothing. And why not use a platform that actually wants you, the creator, to make money?
- Configuration is tough: Customizing role permissions can be exhausting, especially if you’ve set up a Discord community before.
- Limited event management: there’s no integration with third-party calendars like Google or iCalendar, so calendar-specific reminders aren’t created automatically. There’s also no support for repeated events, like weekly meetings.
- There are better gaming options: Other platforms offer better gaming integrations.
- Privacy NIGHTMARES: Discord collects everything, and watchdogs have had serious privacy concerns about it--including that it's vulnerable to bad actors.
- It’s DANG hard to keep organized: Channels tend to have a lot of chatter and this can be difficult to keep up with. On top of that, managing notifications can be an absolute nightmare.
- Limited customization: Let’s be honest, it’s nice to pick how your community looks!
What to look for in a Discord alternative
- Customization: Look for better branding. Discord is limited here, other platforms let you build and customize & even opt for a branded app!
- Monetization: If you want to monetize you’ll need native features and secure checkouts + the option to create membership tiers, bundles, and charge for other stuff. It’s AMAZING to be able to monetize memberships (even if you choose this later).
- App: Any community platform should have this feature as well. 60% of all internet use is mobile. You need an app.
18 Discord alternatives
1. Mighty Networks
G2s top-rated community platform
Mighty Networks is G2’s top-rated community platform and the best Discord Alternative–letting you bring content, courses, community, and commerce together.
Here’s what makes Mighty Networks an overall powerful platform:
- Customizable Spaces that can hold courses, live streaming, messaging, forums, events, content, and more! (And you can turn off any features you don’t want.)
- An activity feed & member profiles built to connect people who don’t know each other AND organize content.
- Custom New Member welcome process, Featured and Discovery sections.
- Livestreaming, polls, events (w/ RSVP), event chats
- Mighty's AI engine, Mighty Co-Host™ runs Chat GPT and can create a Big Purpose, community name, course outlines, icebreaker questions, landing and sales pages, and more.
- Unlike Discord, Mighty lets you build community with a ton of features, from live streaming to polls to subgroups to group chats... everything you need to create a thriving space.
- Built under your brand, unique domain names, light & dark mode, brand generator
- Apps match community branding + you can get a totally branded app with Mighty Pro.
- Tons of monetization features. Sell membership tiers (community-wide OR individual Spaces), and bundle with courses, events, livestreams, premium content, etc.
- Sell in 135 currencies or monetize with token-gating
- Every community can monetize (no limits) and each includes unlimited members, admins, mods, etc.
- Every Mighty Network comes with access to an intuitive app on their mobile device.
- Established brands can get premium branded apps with Mighty Pro
Engagement rates on the Mighty are extremely high—and unlike Discord, you’ll have the analytics to prove it!
Good Discord alternative for workplaces
Chances are you’ve probably used Slack for work. If you have, you know that it’s fairly easy to pick up and become familiar with. Based on our criteria, here’s what you need to know about Slack as an alternative to Discord:
- Good chat features for groups and 1:1. Slack has forum functions and good UX.
- Member accounts, permissions, and light profiles that assume people work on the same team and are already familiar with one another.
- Very limited event features outside of “huddles”.
- Limited content options, not good for native video or long-form, and no polls, questions, or events.
- Admins have the ability to create “channels” for sub-topics where members can contribute.
- You can customize access and require invites.
- Otherwise very limited customization options.
- Direct monetization isn’t a possibility for Slack.
- Slack has a great native app so that members can easily access messages with mobile notifications.
Slack is a GREAT Discord alternative for workplaces and decent for free communities that are discussion-based. Beyond that, you run into some limits.
3. Steam Chat
Best gaming Discord alternative
For gamers, Steam Chat offers a really solid alternative to Discord that also integrates with PC gameplay. The integration alone makes it one of the best community gaming experiences, meaning you can chat inside the game and within the Steam client, while also sharing your gameplay and hosting conversations.
It ends up feeling a bit like a more basic Discord with much better gameplay integration.
- You can organize your community into channels (both voice and text). It has an awesome voice call function that extends into gameplay (so you can chat while you game).
- It integrates directly with a whole bunch of games so you can invite people and share your gameplay.
- There are some customization features for a Steam channel; things like colors and images.
- No direct monetization, but you can sell Steam trading cards for a wallet credit.
- Steam has a good app for every device–but since it specializes in PC games most players are more likely to use the desktop app.
Messaging-focused Discord alternative
WhatsApp is a messaging app that’s pretty much the default messaging platform in some parts of the world. You can chat 1:1 or in groups.
One of the main reasons why people choose to use WhatsApp is because of its encryption. Moreover, if your target audience is outside of North America, they will likely already be familiar with this platform—a big plus for attracting new members.
- WhatsApp is a great chat app for text, pictures, and videos. It's really intuitive to use and set up, and works best for 1:1 conversations.
- It integrates well with your phone & phone number.
- BUT it’s a nightmare for bigger groups and communities. If you’re bringing together more than 10 people, it’s not the right alternative to Discord.
- Unfortunately, you can’t use your own branding with WhatsApp. There’s no way to create subgroups or any other organizational features.
- As with Slack, there’s also no means of direct monetization with this platform. You'd have to use a third-party app to monetize.
- WhatsApp has an easy-to-use and intuitive app. As we mentioned above, it's awesome for chatting 1:1.
This app is great for people who know one another but if you want to build a community of strangers who are coming together for a purpose, it might be a bit trickier. It’s also owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), which may give some members pause about privacy concerns.
5. Facebook Groups
Discord Alternative for simple & free groups
As with WhatsApp, and depending on your audience, Facebook Groups will be a familiar and comfortable alternative to Discord for many of your members. People create all types of Facebook Groups, from career groups to special interests to hobbies.
- Facebook is popular. It’s easy to add members (whether you’re connected with them or not). Adding posts is a breeze, and so is uploading video.
- Facebook groups are really badly organized and get more confusing as they grow. There’s only one place to consume content–and it’s listed in either chronological or “relevance” order.
There are tons of distractions (from goat videos to their friend’s most recent vacay pics) and users don’t always get notified about everything.
- There’s almost no customization on Facebook Groups. You can add a cover image and logo. That’s it.
- You’re not building your brand. You’re building Facebook’s.
- Facebook Groups, unfortunately, doesn’t let you monetize or run a paid membership site. They actually do the opposite and ask creators to spend money on advertising to reach their members.
- Facebook’s app is extremely easy to use and accessible, which is great! There's a good chance your audience already has it.
A lot of people are already on this platform and the app is nicely laid out, but creators are constantly fighting for their members’ attention with the ever-changing algorithm on Facebook Groups. Not only that, there are a lot of issues when it comes to privacy so more and more people are avoiding Facebook Groups.
For all these reasons, Facebook is a Discord alternative, but definitely not the best one.
6. Microsoft Teams
Corporate Discord alternative
Ever since the pandemic, organizations have looked to communication tools for their (pardon the pun) teams. Similar to Slack, Microsoft Teams has grown in popularity in leaps in bounds.
- Interact with your members through group chat, online meetings, calls, and web conferencing. You can also easily collaborate on files.
- You can invite external members to your Teams, but you need their email addresses, and depending on how your Teams is configured, they might have limited access to its features.
- Good event features and it’s perfect for meetings.
- Teams isn’t good for complex discussions OR ones with a lot of members (you’ll be scrolling up endlessly)
- While you can tweak a few things within Teams (e.g. dark theme, adding apps, and your status message), you certainly can’t customize it to your liking.
- Overall the platform feels corporate.
- You can’t directly monetize on Teams unless it’s with your own app. If you do sell an app on this platform, you can also sell subscription plans.
App & Access
- Teams includes 28 native apps that are available for integration, like OneNote, and Wikipedia.
- Both the desktop browser and apps work well!
Discord alternative for broadcasting
Telegram is a messaging app that is fast and easy to use. It’s a combination of SMS and email (you use your phone contacts to find people within the app), and it’s one of the most downloaded apps in the world.
- Users can send one another photos, videos, and files, as well as voice and video call other participants. You can create large groups (up to 200,000 people) or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences.
- With Channels, admins can create themed groups and broadcast their content to subscribers.
- The downside of this app is that only the admin can publish their content. Subscribers can engage with it by participating in polls and clicking links, but ultimately it’s a one-way broadcasting tool (unlike Discord)
- Very little by way of customization. You can do things like add your logo to your group, but the overall interface will remain Telegram’s.
- Unlike many of the platforms listed, you can monetize your Telegram channel. You can set up paid subscriptions and sell them, with the help of a third-party service.
- Telegram can easily be used on desktop or mobile devices.
While Telegram isn't really the place to host a forum or build a course business, it is a messenger app that has room to reach a lot of people, making it a good alternative to Discord.
8. Google Chat
Free Discord alternative with good Google tools integration
Google Chat app lets you create either a group chat OR a discussion space, and you can have conversations. The discussion space works a bit like Discord in that you can host more complex group conversations AND it’s got end-to-end encryption too!
- Great for small communities or 1:1 Conversations
- It works well for a team that uses Google tools (the integrations are really intuitive), but it’s terrible for large communities and complex discussions
- You can’t really customize it.
- No monetization features
- There’s a great app that works with every device.
Discord alternative for photo & video sharing
Snapchat isn’t the first place your mind would go when you’re looking for a Discord alternative, but for the right type of user, it might be a good fit. Snapchat is a social media platform that specializes in photo and video sharing–known for media that disappears after 10 seconds.
- You can use it to share photos and videos 1:1, but it also has community features that let you build a following and share media with groups of people.
- Features like text, photos, videos, and calling.
- BUT it’s limited to certain types of communities and doesn’t have forum features like Discord.
- No customization
- No built-in monetization
- There’s a great app for every device.
Good Discord alternative with built-in calling
Viber is an alternative to Discord that lets you call landlines and mobile numbers, organize 1:1 and group chats, and video call. Viber also added messages that disappear (like Snapchat) and has end-to-end encryption and great privacy features.
- Would work great as a messaging and calling app for a small community. The chat functions are great and you can call landlines (with purchasing minutes)
- Although you can technically grow group chats to 100s of people, this is not the best way to organize a larger community.
- No customization
- No monetization
- The app works well.
Another alternative to Discord is Geneva. It’s a video-focused group chat app that includes forums and chat rooms that are good for gathering groups and holding some of the conversations Discord has.
- Create virtual events and notify members that the event is beginning.
- You can host video calls with 1:1 or groups of people (video rooms).
- It has more traditional content options like blogs & discussion forums.
- No customization features
- No monetization features
- Great app for every device
Circle.so is a community software platform that can create a paid alternative to Discord. It lets you host discussions with groups of people through forum features, and you can add in events. They also recently added cohort courses.
- Circle has a good community platform with discussion features and different types of spaces (course, discussion, event) for organizing content.
- You can create member profiles, host livestreams, and chat & message.
- Customize light & dark modes, an icon, and some other community branding features.
- Sell memberships and bundles to monetize your community.
- Good iOS app. The Android app was just released last fall.
Reddit is a social network that lets you organize groups and conversations, and it’s a discussion forum that’s text-first. It was probably the platform that made up- and down-voting famous and works sort of like a public version of Discord.
- Reddit has great forum options and can host good text conversations because of the way discussions are structured.
- People can find and join your discussion spaces, giving you a way to grow your subreddit.
- BUT the community features are really simple–so you can’t build a large, engaged community.
- And ads are a bummer, distracting from your content.
- No real customization options
- No native monetization
- A functional app for every device
Flock is another Discord alternative that functions a lot like Slack–organizing discussions into channels and giving you a messaging forum + calling.
- Video & voice calling features that mix 1:1 or group meetings.
- Forums that are organized into channels (a lot like Slack) for sharing content, voice notes, files, and polls.
- No real customization
- No monetization
- Good app for every device
Twitch is a Discord alternative for gamers with a focus on livestreaming. You’ll find people livestreaming gameplay–which was sort of why Twitch was created. But in addition to Overwatch and Minecraft, you’ll find people streaming pretty much everything.
- Twitch does better at livestreaming than Discord, with a better engine. But it’s more of a livestreaming platform than a proper community platform (although you can chat while livestreaming).
- There are some features to customize your creator account, adding banners and profile avatars and changing the colors.
- There are different ways to monetize your livestreaming, with features like subscriptions, ads, or sponsorships.
- Twitch has a good app for every device.
Chanty is a Discord alternative that’s made to organize team discussions and collaboration. As a workplace tool, it’s really solid with a similar feel to Discord. You can share project management with to-do lists and Kanban views, as well as sharing documents.
- Good discussion and file-sharing features with a channel interface that looks a lot like Discord.
- Built-in video and voice calling that are great for remote work (or just for fun).
- Choose from light or dark mode.
- No native monetization
- Apps for every device
Discourse is an open-source community platform. The code for it is on GitHub, so if you know how to code it’s an option to build a community to replace Discord.
- The community feature is functional for text-based conversations. You can organize into topics and add avatars.
- Otherwise, it’s pretty much just a forum. If you want more features than a low-tech forum, it’s not the right choice.
- You’d need to pay for hosting somewhere and get it set up.
- Discourse could be customized, since it’s open-source. If you know how to code (or are willing to hire a developer) you could make it match a style you want.
- No integrated monetization
- No app
Finally, Teamspeak is a Discord alternative that’s also made for gamers. It’s similar to Steam as a gaming chat and voice interface, and it’s the official voice chat interface for the popular game: Overwatch. It boasts a conversation channel with military-grade encryption that’s earned a reputation for being consistently clear and reliable.
If you’re looking for a voice channel for games–especially as an alternative to Steam–Teamspeak is solid.
- Can create different channels and use it to chat during gaming.
- No real customization options
- No monetization options
- Good app for every device
If you’re looking for a great Discord alternative where you can grow your online community, why not try Mighty?
It gives you a ton of great features and possibilities — from easily welcoming new members to a community, creating a customized feed for members, to having the ability to monetize through memberships, courses, and groups.
You get to bring people (who don’t know each other) together who share the same passion, interests, or goals and see them thrive, making it one of the top alternatives to Discord.