It’s a truth: Humans crave group. And with on-line membership websites changing into an increasing number of well-liked within the on-line enterprise world, we wished to discover two completely different membership group platforms: Mighty Networks vs. Circle, that will help you decide which one may be the most effective match in your tribe.
Way again within the day, it wasn’t so tough to construct group. We organically discovered group at bars and church buildings, sporting occasions, and dinner events. But because the creation of the Internet, it has grow to be each simpler, and more durable, to seek out true group. Sure, we now have social networks, however as nicely all know these may be noisy and distracting, and connections typically do not get previous the floor.
More and extra we’re craving extra sane, protected, and calm areas on-line to attach. Places which are extra peaceable with fewer distractions and the place we will hang around with folks with whom we now have one thing in frequent. And the place you, the group chief, have extra management.
Membership communities are the latest method to construct on-line connections with folks in your tribe. We launched SPI Pro in July, and we have already got a whole lot of members who all have an curiosity in beginning and rising their on-line companies. We’re all-in on membership communities, and in the event you’re an entrepreneur, we need to assist you set one up as nicely.
In the method of making SPI Pro, there have been many issues to contemplate, together with the place to host it. Mighty Networks? Discourse? Disciple? Circle? There are a slew of platforms on the market, and discovering the appropriate “home” is essential to assist maintain your members engaged and coming again for extra.
In this weblog publish, we’re going to match two membership platforms: Mighty Networks vs. Circle. One has been round for years. The different launched lower than a yr in the past.
Both are superb platforms, however as you’ll see, there are some key variations, and so they have completely different strengths and advantages. Which one could possibly be best for you?
Note: This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. Read our full affiliate disclaimer here.
The platform has been round for a couple of years. Here’s some background on how this platform took place.
How Mighty Networks began
Mighty Networks was based by Gina Bianchini, who was cofounder of Ning.com, a web-based social media community platform for folks and organizations to create customized social networks. Gina left Ning in 2010 and began Mighty Networks.
She and her group wished to construct one thing that was mobile-fast and one thing that was creator-led.
Pat interviewed Gina in session 405 of the SPI Podcast, the place she talks about her imaginative and prescient with Mighty Networks: “… to create something that allowed you to bring your people together in one place, do more with them, run online courses, have virtual workshops or even organize in-person events because of some of the features we have related to people near me.”
“What’s powerful about a Mighty Network,” says Gina, is that “you are not simply bringing your group and programs collectively in the identical place. You are in reality creating and making the most of the identical underlying dynamics which have constructed a few of the most profitable firms within the historical past of firms [Facebook, Twitter, etc.] The distinction is that you just as a creator can make the most of the identical underlying dynamics that constructed these platforms by having your personal community impact that’s creator-sized, that’s for your people who constructed your enterprise.”
Gina wished to create a spot for “brands and businesses to come together via online courses, paid memberships, events, content, and community—all under your brand, instantly available natively on every platform.” Mighty Networks serves the rising world of “creators with a purpose” in a class they time period the “passion economy.”
Mighty Networks is likely one of the oldest and most established platforms to host membership communities, and it’s full of tons of options.
Recently, it has began advertising and marketing itself as a “website builder” slightly than only a group platform. This is an fascinating transfer, as a result of it provides on-line companies a method to construct their complete infrastructure on one platform.
Features of Mighty Networks
The platform has a ton of performance you’d need as a creator, together with:
- Website builder
- Online programs
Mighty Networks has the power to supply articles, on-line programs, and arranged occasions. They need every creator to be answerable for their very own Mighty Network and to have the ability to deliver their content material, programs, and group collectively in a single place.
Mighty Networks found by means of buyer suggestions that their prospects didn’t need to must go to different platforms to create on-line programs, so that they constructed a means for creators to create and promote on-line programs proper on the Mighty Networks platform. Today, over 65 p.c of their paying prospects (premium plan), make the most of the power to host their on-line programs on Mighty Networks.
Mighty Networks Plans
The platform provides three principal plans to select from, based mostly in your wants.
- Personalized exercise feeds for members
- Topics, articles and direct messaging
- Option to have your group public or non-public
Community Plan ($23/month):
- Your personal internet area
- Unlimited moderators
- The skill to cost for membership
Business Plan ($81/month):
- Online programs
- 2,000 + Zapier integrations
- Premium analytics
You can see the complete checklist of plans and options here. There’s additionally a Pro plan (worth not offered on the web site), which incorporates white label capabilities.
Why you would possibly need to think about using Mighty Networks
We’ve recognized three key the reason why Mighty Networks may be your platform of selection in your membership group.
It permits you to construct your complete on-line enterprise infrastructure on one platform
As talked about above, Mighty Networks was initially created as a group platform, however has since transitioned into positioning itself as a “website builder”—which permits folks to start out with their web site and construct every part out from there. This permits folks to have their group, course gross sales, and content material creation multi functional place, slightly than having to determine completely different platforms for every.
It has been round for some time and has developed a ton of options
Since Mighty Networks is a number of years outdated, it has extra capabilities than different membership platforms. For now, the built-in occasions performance appears rather a lot higher than Circle and different platforms, and their member profiles are extra sturdy. In addition, it has a software for funds so that you don’t must combine an outdoor platform when promoting programs or your membership group.
Having every part in a single place helps to encourage viewers engagement
If your followers must log in to a number of completely different platforms to have interaction with you and your different followers, then engagement would possibly endure. If they’ve simply completed a course after which must go to Facebook to attach with others who took the course, it could be an excessive amount of work.
Gina believes that entrepreneurs need every part in a single place: “They’re saying, ‘You know what? I’m sick of having a static website. The fact that I can have my website and my community and my courses and my payments and my marketing pages all in one place is what I want because I want to move from having something that’s static to dynamic.’”
It’s additionally outdoors of the noise and distraction of Facebook—it’s a devoted area so you’ve folks coming to the group deliberately, not simply once they’re scrolling by means of Facebook. So you gained’t must work as onerous to maintain your group members’ consideration.
Reasons why Mighty Networks is probably not best for you
Mighty Networks is not for everybody. Here are the principle causes it is probably not the most effective match in your wants.
You could not want so many options
Some established creators don’t want this many options. If you have already got your programs housed someplace else, you don’t want the “courses” function. If you’re a extra established entrepreneur and creator, chances are you’ll not need to transfer your funds, programs, and web site throughout to Mighty Networks.
It’s not very intuitive
While it’s very function wealthy, Mighty Networks is not as intuitive as different platforms, like Circle. Some customers have discovered it onerous to navigate. Sometimes it’s a must to click on by means of one or two ranges earlier than you discover the dialog. Also, the platform isn’t “white label” except you pay for the Pro membership, which isn’t priced on its web site.
Bottom Line: This platform could possibly be good for you in the event you want an all-in-one platform to construct your online business infrastructure, however appears much less intuitive and more durable to navigate than Circle.
Circle is a a lot newer platform than Mighty Networks. In truth, it was launched lower than a yr in the past.
How Circle began
Circle was began by three colleagues who left Teachable across the identical time. Sid Yadav was Teachable’s first designer and labored there for 5 years. He teamed up with Andrew Guttormsen, the previous VP of development at Teachable, and Rudy Santino, the previous head of design.
According to the Circle.so web site, Circle promotes itself because the “modern community platform for creators” that “brings together your discussions, memberships, and content” and lets you “integrate a thriving community wherever your audience is, all under your own brand.”
The greatest distinction between Circle and Mighty Networks is that Circle isn’t attempting to do every part. Its principal focus is on membership communities, after which offering seamless integration with different platforms chances are you’ll be utilizing.
As Circle cofounder Sid Yadav says, “We’re not trying to do all of it. Our approach is a little more modular: we’re trying to nail the community piece, and specifically the engagement piece. Our approach is to integrate with everyone else, so we have a partnership with Teachable, with Memberstack, with Memberspace, Memberfull.”
Circle additionally doesn’t presently have its personal fee choice, however it does combine nicely with fee platforms like Stripe.
The different massive distinction between Circle and Mighty Networks is that Circle provides a white-label group expertise, the place you’ll be able to select your personal model colours, add a customized area, and so on.
As we wrote in our October 16 blog post about the launch of SPI Pro, we have been all-in on Circle because it launched final winter.
Matt, our co-CEO, had a imaginative and prescient for SPI Pro, after which went on the lookout for a platform that might do every part we wished. Circle appeared like the proper match. Matt and Pat have since grow to be advisors for the corporate.
Circle Features embody:
- Custom area
- Private areas (much like Slack channels)
- Bulk import/export
- Zapier Integration
- Embed Widgets
- In-app notifications
- Member profiles and listing
- Basic moderation
- Direct messaging
- Weekly digest e mail
- iOS app (coming quickly)
- Complete white labeling (for the Professional and Enterprise plans)
To see a full checklist of Circle options, go here.
Basic Plan: $39/month
- 1,000 Monthly Active Members
- 10 areas
- Custom area
- Zapier integration
- SSO with Memberstack and MemberHouse
Professional Plan: $79/month
- 10,000 Monthly Active Members
- 100 areas
- API Access
- Complete white labeling
- Advance reporting
- SSO with WordPress and Memberful
- Priority e mail assist
Enterprise Plan: $199/month
- 100,000 Monthly Active Members
- 1,000 areas
- three communities
- Custom SSO by way of OAuth
- Account supervisor
Why chances are you’ll need to think about Circle
There are three key causes chances are you’ll need to think about Circle in your membership group.
Seamless integration together with your present tech stack
If you have already got a web site or on-line programs, and in the event you’re already utilizing a number of tech platforms, Circle integrates very properly together with your present tech stack.
It’s very customizable, so you’ll be able to construct your group area from the bottom up
When you create areas, you’ll be able to customise who has entry to every of these, change whether or not they’re displayed in “post,” “list,” or “card” view, management whether or not members can create new matters, change the best way the matters are ordered, and pin matters to the highest or sidebar.
You may have a mix of a free group on Circle that has non-public areas that somebody would want to pay to have entry to, or a totally free platform on Circle. Every a part of the platform is modular in an effort to do with it no matter you need.
Circle additionally helps you to select your colours, add your brand, and use your personal customized subdomain in order that the expertise on the platform feels native to your model and your merchandise.
It’s intuitive and combines the most effective of platforms like Slack and Facebook
Circle feels a bit like Slack with “spaces” you’ll be able to customise much like Slack Channels. As an admin, you’ll be able to select who’s in what area, and it’s straightforward to make areas public or non-public.
It’s not only one lengthy newsfeed, so conversations are simpler to hitch and reply to, with out having to be on the platform continuously or having to click on by means of a number of layers to seek out the dialog.
Circle has a clear, easy interface that shall be very acquainted for individuals who have been part of a Facebook or Slack group. It’s additionally extra user-friendly than Mighty Networks.
Reasons why Circle is probably not best for you
While Circle is a good choice, there are a few the reason why it is probably not the most effective match for you.
Doesn’t have as many options as Mighty Networks
One essential factor to contemplate is that Circle doesn’t embody a software to gather funds in your membership group, so you will have to combine one other platform like Stripe as a way to course of person funds by yourself.
It additionally doesn’t have group messaging (though the Circle group engaged on together with that sooner or later), or a cell app (additionally coming quickly).
Circle is new on the scene, and it’ll take time to develop these options. And some options could finally not be part of Circle’s imaginative and prescient. Instead of including options like a fee software, the platform could focus extra on group and integration as an alternative.
You’ll want different platforms to construct out your online business infrastructure
If you’re a brand new entrepreneur and don’t have already got a web site, programs, or a fee platform, you’ll have to set these up individually from Circle. Depending on the place you need to go together with your online business, that is probably not a nasty factor. But simply remember that Circle is laser centered on constructing a membership group platform that shall be extra person pleasant, and maintain your followers engaged.
Bottom Line: Circle may be good for you in the event you want a group platform that’s versatile, customizable, and also you don’t want an all-in-one software. It’s nonetheless new and creating its instruments, however the group at Circle is incorporating suggestions from its customers.
Why We Chose Circle for SPI Pro
So far, Circle has been a tremendous residence for SPI Pro. We didn’t want an all-in-one software like Mighty Networks, and we preferred the truth that we might construct our group area precisely how we wished it, and didn’t must attempt to shoe-horn it into an present template.
We have discovered that our group members are extremely engaged—a latest month-to-month problem occasion generated over 500 feedback! That mentioned, we’re noticing that a few of the areas aren’t getting used very a lot, and so it’s straightforward to delete them when obligatory, or add new areas based mostly on the wants and pursuits of our group.
Seeing the areas (much like Slack channels) on the left facet of the web page retains matters and conversations straightforward to entry which ends up in extra engagement.
The Circle group has been superb in responding to our suggestions and requests, and we’re excited to see how this new software can evolve inside the subsequent yr.
If you’re beginning your personal membership group, make sure you do your analysis and discover the most effective match for your online business. If you suppose Circle may be the appropriate answer for your online business, you may get a free 14-day trial to put it through its paces [affiliate link].