Facebook Group Alternatives

5 Alternatives to Facebook Groups for your Private Member Community



Looking to get your community off Facebook ASAP? You’re not alone.

Facebook is becoming less popular due to recent events and arguable ethics. News and documentaries like The Social Dilemma have given many people pause to question Facebook’s motives and consider moving their private groups/communities elsewhere.

Some of the common use cases and benefits of leaving Facebook include include:

  • Having ownership if your user data, instead of letting FB continue to own it.
  • Providing your users with a distraction free environment.
  • Giving your users a sense and assurance of privacy.
  • Gaining more flexibilty to engage your community with 3rd party tools and services (FB is very closed in this sense).
  • etc.

It’s certainly no small feat to move your audience away from Facebook groups, especially if you have deep roots there. However, there are some great alternative options on the rise. We’re seeing a lot more interest and momentum with people leaving Facebook groups as well. They move away from Facebook groups can have significant upside if you’re moving for the right reasons.

That said, here are 5 alternatives to Facebook for your private community –

1) WordPress / BuddyPress

Facebook Alternative - BuddyPress

This is at the top of our list for one reason – you own all your data. That reason alone is paramount, especially today when data is becoming the most valuable asset we can acquire as businesses. However, data is also becoming a large burden with growing privacy concerns and focus.

Building your own WordPress site with BuddyPress is one of the only ways to replicate a social network experience and still have complete ownership of your data.

Pros
  • Complete ownership of data
  • Tons of features and integrations via WP ecosystem
  • 100% free
Cons
  • DIY can be challenging for non technical folks
  • Slow upgrades and product enhancements
  • No mobile apps

*Note: if you like this option get in touch. We’re building a customized version of BuddyPress into our current platform.

2) Circle.so

Facebook Alternative - Circle

Circle is one of the newer products to market. It provides a simple and easy interface, very similar to Facebook, without all the noise and distractions. We like this option if you’re looking for the FB style experience without all the things FB has become infamous for.

Pros
  • Nice set of basic social features
  • Fair tiered pricing model
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • No free plan
  • No mobile apps

3) MightyNetworks

Facebook Alternative - MightyNetworks

MightyNetworks is another FB groups competitor that has picked up momentum in the last few year. They were founded by a former FB executive, so they know a thing or two about building social communities. That said, be cautious with this approach. A business operated by a former FB exec may not fall far from the tree.

Regardless, they are an attractive option if you want your own private social network with some limited flexibility to sell memberships/courses.

Pros
  • Free plan
  • Great social features and UX
  • Mobile app
Cons
  • Complicated pricing that eats into your margins
  • No API

4) tribe.so

Facebook Alternative - Tribe

Tribe is another alternative that competes well with Facebook. They offer a wide range of features that provide a white-labeled social network for your brand. They also have some cool features like gamification that other products aren’t offering.

Pros
  • Free plan
  • Unique features like gamification
  • Widgets, integrations and API for further extension
Cons
  • Limited members on free plan
  • Complicated tiered pricing model

5) MemberDev

Facebook Alternative - MemberDev

And last but not least, we’ll throw our hat in the ring here. The member(dev) platform is a solid option if you want a membership platform first, with some of the social/community features to accompany it. That’s why we’ve put ourselves modestly last in this list. Our product is more focused on sales and revenue than community engagement.

That said, we have a lot of customers who’ve found success with some basic social features.

Pros
  • Integration with memberships, courses and other revenue channels
  • Flexible content library, event calendar and member directory
  • Fixed pricing with no member based fees
Cons
  • No free plan (sorry, folks!)
  • Limited social features compared to other platforms

Which option makes sense for you?

In summary, there are a variety of options to help get off Facebook. This list only covers a select few that we’ve used or have experience with. The option that serves you best will depend on your needs.

Here are some questions to help you decide:

  • Do you want a DIY (do-it-yourself) solution or a DFY (done-for-you) solution?
  • What’s more important – sales (revenue) or engagement?
  • Are you starting fresh or moving an existing community?
  • Do you need an API for deeper customization and extension?
  • Do you want fixed pricing or member-based pricing?

As you start to answer these questions you’ll make it easier to select a platform.

Feel free to contact us if you’d like a deeper opinion and/or insight into what we offer. No sales pressure or pushy tactics. We’re on the team that wants people to move away from Facebook 🙂

Ali Jafarian

Ali is the founder of MemberDev. He's a serial entrepreneur and software engineer with over a decade of experience building technology. Ali's spent the last 5 years focusing on membership websites and the subscription business model. He loves helping start-ups and small businesses with early stage development and growth.

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