If you are trying to launch or grow an online community, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about Facebook Groups. Facebook seems easy and accessible. It’s tempting to think that it might be a good place to build your community.
But that’s not the case. Actually, Facebook has a lot of challenges from usability to data privacy issues that make it difficult to build a meaningful community there. Chances are you’ve joined Facebook groups in the past and literally never stepped foot in them again.
A good community platform should give you control and let you build a beautiful place your members will love (and won’t sell their data).
So whether you’re creating a community of baseball enthusiasts, a professional community of accountants, or a space to teach something you’re the master at, this post will give you 7 great alternatives to Facebook Groups 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!
In this article...
Disadvantages of Facebook Groups
Today, many creators and entrepreneurs are looking for Facebook Group alternatives, and for good reason. It seems like more and more each day Facebook is in the news for something: data privacy to politics, clickbait, uncomfortable business practices… the list is long.
But the good news is that most people—including your members!—are open to Facebook Group alternatives like never before.
Here are some of the serious disadvantages of Facebook Groups:
- You can’t reach your members: For any post in a Facebook group, you only reach between 1%-5% of your members or followers. That should bug you as a creator.
- Tons of competition: Even when your members do see an update from your group, it’s competing with a sea of cat videos, political rants, and their grandma’s pictures of her birds.
- Lack of monetization: Unfortunately, Facebook Groups doesn’t have a lot of options for monetization. So if you’re thinking about using a Facebook Group to run a paid membership site or sell online courses, you can’t.
- No real customization: Facebook groups are easy to set up. But at the end of the day, one of the reasons they’re so easy is that your group will ALWAYS look like Facebook’s brand.
- No courses: Online courses are a fantastic way to help grow your audience and your brand. You can use them to scale your impact and even earn money!
- No subgroups: This is probably the worst thing. As your Facebook Group grows, you can't scale it.
- People are avoiding Facebook: With the recent scandals of Facebook data being used in political disinformation campaigns in both the U.S. and the U.K., there’s a lot of suspicion directed at the platform. More and more people are boycotting it outright.
These things are all a lot of downsides for a platform you don't control to begin with. Australia-based Thea-Mai Baumann was surprised when her Instagram account was recently deactivated, potentially costing her thousands of followers. It was disabled 5 days after Facebook announced its name change, and only reinstated once the media reached out to Meta (AKA Facebook) for comment.
When you build on a platform you don’t control, you’re always at the mercy of others. Some digital marketers call this “digital sharecropping.”
If you choose to build a community using a Facebook Group you’re giving all the power to Facebook. Think of it this way, with a Facebook Group your community will always be governed by what Facebook deems appropriate, and they can shut you down any time they want
No matter how good your content is, there’s just too much noise.
What to look for in a Facebook Group alternative
So, we’ve talked about the reasons to be looking for an alternative to Facebook. How do you figure out what the best alternative is?
Well, for a start, the best alternative to Facebook Groups should do the things Facebook does well, but also improve on the stuff it doesn’t.
Based on the points above, here are some of the things we’re watching for:
- Customization: Facebook doesn’t really let you customize your brand, unless you count adding a custom header image. There are options to help you get the look and feel throughout your whole community, under your brand.
- Apps: Facebook does have a good app. So you shouldn't sacrifice that. American adults spend 4 hours a day on their cell phone and mobile use has grown 460% from 2011-2021. You need a community app.
- Monetization: It’s really not fair that big social media platforms gladly accept all your hard work creating content and give you nothing in return. One of the key components of an alternative to Facebook Groups is that you should be able to monetize it if you want.
- Growth features: When you have 10 members in your Facebook community, you get access to a set of features. If you have 10,000 members? Same features. A proper community platform should help you grow.
- Features! You should get more features than you get on Facebook. Things like virtual events, sell online courses, create mastermind groups, and monetize your community.
In the end, you want a platform that will replicate the things that Facebook does well. For example, having the ability to live stream if you want to or to schedule posts should be built in.
There’s no point in switching to an alternative that has half the functionality.
7 Alternatives to Facebook Groups
1. Mighty Networks
One of the best Facebook Groups alternative is Mighty Networks, a powerful cultural software platform that lets you bring content, community, courses, and commerce together. And flexible Spaces let you mix in live streaming, live events, discussions, messaging, member profiles, live AND pre-recorded courses, and more!
Mighty does what Facebook can't, giving you a platform you create your brand on and the features for engagement you need -- all in a community you own... no competing for the algorythm's attention.
And Mighty lets you monetize! The average Mighty Networks fee is between $27-33 a month ($240-$319 per member/year), but 90% of our paywalled networks are also making sales on top of the membership fee, selling things like courses, coaching, masterminds, and live events.
You can charge for a Mighty Network in 135 different currencies or even monetize with token-gating.
It gives you everything you'd get in a Facebook group and MORE -- it's ultimately a way better platform to build on.
Last, but not least, Mighty is changing the game with community AI. Mighty Co-Host™ runs on Chat GPT and can create a Big Purpose, community name, brand, landing and sales pages, and more.
Try Our Community Name Generator
Our AI engine is here to help you create a community name that feels like magic. Just share a few words about who your community is for and we’ll get to work.
Examples: coaching clients, meditation novices, vegan chefs, dog lovers, aspiring entrepreneurs, etc.
The names generated by Mighty Co-Host™ are examples only and may be used by other businesses or subject to third-party rights. For more information, check our Terms.
Mighty Networks Pros:
- AI Community building (Mighty Co-Host™)
- Your own branding.
- Reach 100% of your members (**who will love it).
- Has all the features of a Facebook Group.
- PLUS Online courses, mastermind groups, events, and more.
- Lots of ways to monetize, bundle, create different plans, etc.
- Livestreaming, native video upload, video storage, and both direct & group messaging.
- Awesome native live events.
- Monetize any Space or the whole community. Sell courses, events, coaching, premium groups, and more in 135 currencies or even token-gating.
Mighty Network Cons:
- When you move to a Facebook Group alternative like a Mighty Network, you might lose some of the traffic Facebook may send you. But you make up for it with deeper, richer member engagement.
Want to try Mighty Networks for free?
2. Mighty Pro
If you love the features of Mighty Networks but want to add in your own custom app in the App Store and Google Play Store, Mighty Pro is the best Facebook Group alternative for you.
With Mighty Pro, we work closely with you to strategize and build your app, then stick beside you every step of the way as you grow.
It's perfect for existing creators running large Facebook Groups (especially if you're trying and failing to monetize).
Pro has built apps for creators and brands like Yoga with Adriene, TED, MindBody, Cristy “Code Red” Nickel, and Sadie Robertson Huff.
In fact, listen to Cristy “Code Red” Nickel talk about moving her coaching business from Facebook Groups to Mighty and the HUGE difference it made to her revenue.
If you've outgrown Facebook Groups and you're ready to build your own app under your brand, schedule a call with us and we'll show you what you could do!
Slack, a business productivity tool used for work teams, is the most common alternative to Facebook Groups that has emerged in the past five years.
Slack does great work for office productivity and managing teams. With features like threads and chalnnels to organize discussions as well as meeting options like "huddles" which are perfect for quick chats with teamates.
Slack has DM functionality and a bunch of other integrations to choose from to make it even more useful.
The only downside of Slack as a Facebook Group alternative? It's not really made for bringing together big communities of people. You'll never see the engagement you'll see on a designated community platform.
Slack is best for what it was made to do... managing work in a team.
- People are often comfortable using Slack because they use it at work.
- Slack is instantly available on the web and mobile apps.
- Slack is great for small groups that already know each other.
- You can’t brand Slack as your own.
- There are no direct monetization features in Slack.
- There are no online courses or sub-groups in Slack.
- It’s not designed to introduce people who don’t know each other.
- It charges per member, so it can get expensive quickly.
A Slack team has worked pretty well as a Facebook Group alternative, but newer options are quickly making it obvious where the gaps are with Slack.
The second most common alternative to a Facebook Group is WhatsApp, a mobile app without a website, which is also owned by Facebook.
Whatsapp is first and foremost a calling and chat platform, filling a similar role to Facebook Messenger. With a lot of familiar features to Messenger, things like video calls and group chats, it's easy to use and intuitive.
The only downside is, WhatsApp would be almost impossible to build a large community on. It's great for small groups like a family or a sports-team, so if you're looking for a great chat alternative for a Facebook Group with 25 people in it, it might work.
But don't even think about using it for a community of 100 people. It's just not designed for it.
- People generally know it.
- It’s less-common in North America, but really popular around the world
- Messaging, calling, and reaction features similar to Facebook.
- No branding options.
- It's a messaging platform, not a community platform.
- No monetization features.
- It’s not designed to introduce people who don’t know each other.
- It’s owned by Facebook.
A WhatsApp group text is great for family or friends, but as a Facebook Group alternative, it’s hard to see how it works.
If you spend any time on the internet at all, you’ve heard of reddit. And if you’re looking for an alternative to Facebook Groups to house your online community, reddit does offer some of the features of Facebook for free on the form of groups (AKA subreddits)
Reddit has features for community conversations, since it's a solid text-first discussion forum. With ways to organize conversations and up-votes and down-votes, reddit has long been a favorite.
Reddit is best for a Facebook Group alternative if you just want to host open discussions without monetizing or other features.
- Easy to set up your online community subreddit.
- The forum function works well, with upvoting and downvoting and good organization for conversations
- If users want an ad-free experience they can pay a small fee.
- It’s open-source, so it’s a very flexible community space.
- When you have a big community, it becomes much harder to engage with your members in meaningful ways.
- Due to the nature of the platform, your subreddit will have to grapple with spam often.
- Reddit is mainly a text-based forum, with no options for video, live streaming, courses, or anything else you’d want for a great community.
6. Kajabi Community
Kajabi has become a household name for creators and entrepreneurs interested in starting digital businesses. The Kajabi platform allows you to deliver great online courses and comes equipped with a robust assortment of tools and features to monetize and market your content.
Kajabi's strength is its marketing engine. If you're looking to build a course-based business from a Facebook Group, it might be the place to build. Custom landing pages. Built in email campaigns. Kajabi has a lot of great course features.
The downside to Kajabi is its community options. While Kajabi does have a community feature that lets you add a discussion forum to your courses, its extremely basic -- limited to a simple forum.
It lacks a lot of the functionality of a Facebook Group -- ironically a lot of Kajabi creators run Facebook Groups to supplement Kajabi's limited community platform.
This means that Kajabi could be a good alternative to a Facebook Group, but only if your primary focus is courses and you don't care much about community interaction.
Kajabi Community Pros:
- Options for your own branding.
- Simple discussion posts with comment feeds.
- Pairs with Kajabi's course and marketing options
- The “Member view” ability lets you see what your community looks like from the eyes of your members.
Kajabi Community Cons:
- Extremely basic community functions (no live streaming, no native video, limited discussion options, etc.)
- Kajabi is one of the most expensive alternative to Facebook Groups.
- There is a steep learning curve for getting comfortable with the platform software.
Thinkific is a course platform that can also be used to add community features. It has a solid engine with a drag-and-drop builder you can use to create your own courses. Each course can have assignments, quizzes, and exams.
You can build landing pages for your courses, pulling from pre-made themes if you choose. You can also have your brand reflected in the course. And you can choose custom domain names and themes.
Thinkific also has good monetization features. Obviously you can sell courses, but you can also create different types of digital downloads and subscriptions. You can upsell and downsell, adding in coupons, or even an affiliate program if you want.
The two big downsides of Thinkific is its lack of a mobile app and its basic community functions. If you add a community to your course in Thinkific, you're really just adding a very basic forum -- sort of like Kajabi. And the lack of an app is hard to overlook.
- Build comprehensive courses with a great LMS
- Create websites and landing pages
- Easily sell and upsell courses, digital downloads, and subscriptions
- No apps
- Basic community features
Circle is a community platform that's a good alternative to a Facebook Group. It comes with a good discussion features that you can use for all sorts of content, text and video conversations. It was created as a companion to the course platform, Teachable, with the intent that it work hand-in-hand to add a community function. However, Circle also added a course option recently, and has a live streaming feature too.
Circle also has monetization features, including the option to create plans and charge for access.
Circle recently added an Android app, which they were missing. It's still in beta, but rounds out Circle's offerings. Circle doesn't do white-label apps, so if you're looking for an app under your own brand you'd be better to choose Mighty Pro.
- Good community and discussion features
- Member profiles
- Live streaming and basic courses
- Spaces to organize content
- iOS app
- Spaces aren't multi-use (e.g. you can't put a discussion in a course space)
- Limited Android app and no option for white-label app
- More expensive than Mighty Networks with less features
9. LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn has about 740 million users, and is considered the top social network for professional activities like building your personal network and finding a job. It also has something called “LinkedIn Groups” which are similar to Facebook groups.
Users can join the groups, take part in conversations by posting text or video posts, and engage with each other.
LinkedIn Groups Pros:
- Like Facebook, Linked in is a major social media network and a lot of your members may be there.
- Easy to create
- Good sharing functions (you can add photos, videos, and polls.
- People are used to LinkedIn being a professional platform and discussions can be more respectful than on other platforms (obviously there are no guarantees).
LinkedIn Groups Cons
- The algorithm is really bad for group material, and it almost never shows your members group activity on their timeline.
- There’s no way to monetize your group.
- Live streaming on LinkedIn is extremely complicated, requiring an approval and third-party software.
- LinkedIn has a course platform, but you have to apply to teach one very few are approved. Even if approved, your course wouldn't be connected to your group.
- You can only send broadcasts to your members once a week that go straight to their inboxes
You've probably never thought of Twitter as a community platform, and it's not really. But Twitter has made some strides towards including new features that would give you an interesting Facebook Group alternative.
Twitter recently rolled out something they call Twitter Circles (not to be confused with the community platform by the same name). With a Circle, you can create a small group of up to 150 people. You can then choose to Tweet out to your entire audience, or to your Circle only. It can be a cool way to connect with a group of like-minded people.
Twitter has also added features like Spaces -- an answer to Clubhouse that gives a live podcast feel for voice discussions.
Finally, Twitter also has a monetization option with Twitter Blue, where you can sell a membership-type subscription fee to your followers. This sort of serves as an answer to a newsletter platform like Substack, letting you post premium content and earn from it.
There's a lot of movement happening at Twitter, some good and some bad depending on who you ask. But there are some new features that make it a viable Facebook Group alternative.
- Monetize an existing audience
- The spaces feature is cool
- Create Circles of true fans
- Missing features of a real community platform. e.g. live streaming, group discussions, courses, etc.
- Limited subscriptions. No option to bundle, upsell, etc.
- No branding options
- It would only work for certain types of communities
Telegram was built as a community chat app that sort of works like a combination of an email service meets live stream meets SMS.
On the chat front, it's similar to WhatsApp. You can send messages, including videos or files. And Telegram gives you a feature to do a video or voice call.
But Telegram also has some functions for a large group that make it a good Facebook Groups alternative. It gives you a broadcast function, meaning you can reach your subscribers live. They can engage and ask questions. You can also organize your discussions by channels.
Telegram also lets you monetize, selling subscriptions to your most engaged followers.
The only issue with Telegram is that it's not really for an engaged community. Telegram is more one-directional, a creator can broadcast to their community, but it's not built for horizontal community interactions.
It would be best for a creator looking to share their ideas with followers but not really create a community where your followers know each other.
- Good chat and messaging options
- Monetization & subscription features
- It's more one-directional than a community platform
- No live events or courses
- No community discussion features
- No branding options
Discord has become another popular alternative to Facebook Groups because of its ease of use and availability across mobile devices and web. On Discord, similar to Slack, your community will primarily communicate through text and voice chats that are separated into their own channels.
Discord has more content options than Slack, making it a better discussion forum. But it's still limited as a community platform, missing features like courses or robust live events.
And above all, it's difficult to monetize with Discord. It does have a new "Partner Program" which allows hosts to apply for the option to sell plans. But it's not rolled out fully yet, and Discord is a long way from being a real monetization platform.
This makes Discord a great Facebook Group alternative if you want to run a free discussion forum.
- Easy to create your own Discord server and incredibly user-friendly interface.
- Robust tools for text and voice chat.
- Free to use while also offering affordable upgraded plans for more bonus features.
- While it’s easy to use and offers voice and text chats, it’s not the best at creating a community space that grows with your business.
- Can’t offer many experiences. If you’re interested in online courses or virtual events, you’ll need to use another platform.
- Hard to manage your community as it grows bigger.
13. Vanilla Forums
If you're looking for a Facebook Group alternative that's a private group for a company or non-profit, Vanilla Forums is an option. Along with its other brand Higher Logic, it provides forum-first options for things like customer communities, association membership communities, or alumni networks.
It gives some customization features and community management features too. Members can create and publish content, and you can organize your community with groups and subgroups.
It doesn't come with monetization features, and is best for an organization trying to engage its customer or members without needing to build a digital business from community.
Vanilla Forums pros
- Corporate forum solution for large companies
- Build under a corporate brand
- Integrate with common business apps like Zendesk and Salesforce
- White label apps
Vanilla Forums cons
-Limited monetization options
- Outdated branding and feel
If you're building a Facebook Group for alumni and feeling the pinch of limited engagement, you might choose a Facebook Group alternative like Hivebrite. Hivebrite is an alumni management platform that gives you discussion forums mixed with groups and subgroups (e.g. for regional chapters), a branded mobile app, and even a job board to share opporunities.
Hivebrite also has the option to plug your CRM into a live event, creating ticketing and attendee lists.
All in all, Hivebrite is built with alumni networks in mind, so provides a good space for students and current alumni to connect.
Hivebrite is best for alumni networks. It has limited to no monetization features and even the community features are best for networking rather than building a really engaged community.
- Discussion forums
- Job board
- Regional chapters
- Content Management System
- Useful Data & analytics
- Live event management
- White-label apps
- Outdated platform feel
- Limited monetization
If you run a company and you want an alternative to Facebook Groups for a customer community, Tribe is a good option. Tribe is a white-label platform that adds a forum space to an existing corporate website.
Like a lot of the forum options on this list, it lets you create discussions, post content, and even have a mobile app under your brand. You can lead discussions and your customers can share images and videos, participate in polls, and you can organize discussions by spaces.
But Tribe isn't for someone who wants direct messaging between members or wants to create a host live events or courses. It's a very limited forum for companies that want a discussion forum only. Like Vanilla Forums, it would be great for a customer community on your website.
- White-label functionality
- Custom domain & website builder
- Forum-based discussions under your company brand
- Organize conversations with “spaces”
- No chat features
- No event features
- No course features
- It's not made for a robust community
If you're a diehard WordPress fan looking for a Facebook Group alternative that can live on a WordPress site as a plugin, then Memberium might be an option. It lets you create a membership site by blocking off sections of your website and it includes a community component.
- It's a WordPress plug-in (for WordPress users)
- Can be used to gate content and areas of your website
- Comes with a community feature
- Could be combined with other (paid) plugins to add missing features (e.g. LearnDash for online courses)
- Clunky design
- Community features are extremely basic (just a discussion forum)
Discourse is an open-source community platform with the community code living on GitHub. It gives you a discussion forum that you can build that feels similar to reddit.
You can have conversations and organize by topics. It also gives you the option to add moderators, and it has a simple notification feature to let you know if people respond to you.
Discourse is EXTREMELY BASIC, especially compared to the more advanced community platforms on this list, and should only be attempted by someone with some coding knowledge. Discourse does have an option where they build your community for you, but it will end up costing you more ($100/mo) than the better community platforms above.
- Simple forum engine
- Free software on GitHub
- EXTREMELY limited.
- Missing features for branding, monetization, courses, live events, live streaming
- Even the discussion feature is outdated.
Ready to start?
Today, the hands-down best alternative to Facebook Groups is a Mighty Network. Especially if you’re looking to grow a digital business with online courses or membership subscriptions, no other platform has the breadth or depth of features as a Mighty Network.
Plus, your Mighty Network is available across the web, iOS, and Android which gives your members flexibility and accessibility to how they interact with each other and your content.
And with Mighty Pro, you can add your own branded apps under your own brand in the App Store and Google Play Store.